While South Africa and the world appears to be in state of shock and mourning at the death of Nelson Mandela I find myself in a spirit of joy.  Yes, I am in a state of euphoria.  Madiba’s suffering has come to an end and when he left for the spiritual world he gifted us with a legacy that is immeasurable in quality and scope.  I am celebrating his gift to us, no tears, no shock, only the fear that I will fail his legacy.  I met him officially on many an occasion and what really impressed me was not that he always recognised me after the first meeting, but his exemplary humble manner.  The last time that I met him was due to the fickle finger of fate.  This was shortly after his eye operation.

I was playing golf at the Presidency Golf Course in Pretoria.  The field I was in approached, I think it was, the fourth T-box when a burly tough looking guy in a black suite and sun glasses that I would not have had the courage to attack with a chainsaw, appeared on the scene and he was followed by Mandela who splashed a cover on one eye. Tata stopped walking and called the body guard back and said to us ¨Please, go ahead ¨ .  Naturally we stood back and in no uncertain terms informed rank has preference and all laughed.  Mandela came to us and not only shook our hands, but delayed the game for about ten minutes.  He looked at my cousin who he has met in the past and said ¨Eghard and how are things at the Performing Arts Council?¨ Now that was impressive.  He the shook hands with the other two players, enquired about their health and asked the what they did for a living.  Then he stepped over to me and greeted me on my name and gave me a very firm handshake.  After the normal courtesy remarks he looked me seriously in the eye and asked me what happened at the Southern Africa Development Community meeting in Harare a week ago.  I was shattered, good heavens he was in hospital at that time and here he is up to date on events.  Anyway I gave him a very short synopsis and how our Minister of Foreign Affair, Alfred Nzo, pulled the rug out from under Zimbabwe’s (read Mugabe) feet.  Short and sweet down to the point as he did not need a book.  We then asked him to please continue with his walk and only when he is around the corner will we T-off.  As an after thought we were the envy of the other golfers at the 19th.

Thus in celebrating Mandela’s life and the legacy he left us as a gift the following joyous merry pics.

Hibiscus

Hibiscus single

Hollyhock

Holihock 1

Hoya which flowers here at Christmas time

Hoya Xmas 2012

I am not mourning, I am not shocked at the long time expected eventuality, I am celebrating  a magnificent, yet humble, great man.