8 December 2013


The best ideas come so fast you grab what scraps of paper you have in front of you. this old telephone bill tells a tale.


There are few people who earn a place in history in the manner in which Nelson Mandela captured the hearts and minds of the millions of people across the globe, in a magnificent example of what is possible when you have faith.

It’s impossible to imagine what 27 years imprisonment will do to a man. Yet no one could have imagined that on his release in February 1990, he’d embrace the guards that kept him hostage and offer anyone who committed atrocities freedom and protection in exchange for a simple apology to the families they wronged.

Imprisoned in 1961 long before I was born, Nelson Mandela was an icon I grew up with.

As a “nobody” kid, who cared very much for what he was doing, all I could do was write. I don’t have many things from my youth, as I left home in a sort of hurry, but I do have my old songs on scraps of paper.

Not knowing how to write about such an extraordinary man who I never met, all I can offer up is this moment in time from when I was a boy back in 1983, wanting to do my bit. It remains unfinished.


There is a green hill far away
Where the children of the province play
In lavish gardens in the beating sun,
Guarded by a loaded gun

On the other side of town
The kids with the sticks kick their cans around
Watched only by their mothers love
As the fathers and the brothers have
In the interest of society
Been removed from their homes and families.

There is no epitaph that can express
The river of tears that have been shed
For the blood that stains the prison walls
That’s being spilt for an unconquered cause.

To you, the ones who cast the first stone
You hold the captive of my soul
He is the master of our fate
Both yours and mine, will be in his hands one day.

God bless you Nelson Mandela.


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