Every now and then, the world is given the chance to bear witness to life’s ultimate truths through the journey of a single person. From time to time, that person’s actions, his words and deeds, and his quest for a greater existence leave a lasting legacy with his community and his fellow countrymen. In the rarest of times, that person’s quest for peace, justice and equality resonates so deeply, it’s carried in the hearts and minds of every single man, woman and child on this earth.
This is what Nelson Mandela means to me.
For many Africans in the diaspora, Madiba’s life is an infinite source of lessons and teaching moments. His place in history affirms our place in the world as Black African global citizens, leaders and peacemakers. He is the definitive African example of leadership, good governance and diplomacy.
Of all the ways we could do good in this world, what matters most is how we are doing it and why. You could be a scientist, an artist, an organizer, an author, a business executive, an aid worker, a doctor, a chef, a celebrity — the possibilities are endless — and you could do incredible things in that capacity.
But making a difference requires more than a title or activity. It’s about having the right mindset and mission. For me, the mindset and mission begin with how you treat yourself and how honest you are with yourself.
Beyond the broad categorizations of the African diaspora and rhetorical questions posed by Dele Fatunla in his blog post, “What’s Diaspora Got To Do With It?”, he raises an important and timely question about what role the African diaspora plays and should play in supporting Africa’s growth
If I were to tell a 10-year old girl in Middle America that she, the daughter of African immigrants, would one day start her own organization focused on women and girls like her and it would one day be recognized by the White House, she probably wouldn’t believe me. She’d probably think it would be just a dream because she’d never seen it happen before. Until now.