Lament for Mandela the son of the Eastern Cape

The sun desperately tries to push the clouds out of the way of the Eastern Cape skies.

It is hard

but the sky is trying to observe protocol so that all the traditional work that must be performed may continue without the rain.

An ox must fall to the ground with the great tree.

The people of the Eastern Cape must look on while the world buries its most prized son.

A son it never had the opportunity to enjoy since prison’s doors bound him.

A father whose children never had the opportunity to enjoy because he was a slave to freedom.

A husband who was never to be because he was married to a nation in bondage.

Still, there shall be no privacy. No moment to mourn privately. He belongs to the world even when his head falls to the ground, our ground.

I lament for the Mandela children’s loss,

I mourn for the loss of the Madibas, the loss of the Thembu tribe,

the loss of the Xhosa nation,

the loss of the Eastern Cape

for a son so great sown to the world.


Forgiveness is …

Forgiveness is agreeing with the forgiveness that Jesus paid for. It’s not doing something good from your heart, but from His heart.

– Georgian and Winnie Banov

Dreams of Mandela

In a dream I wrote you a speech. I was important enough to be in the same room as you. No, I will be honest in the dream I was still not important. It was the fact that I only had my name which holds no weight that made me feel significantly more important to you in the midst of great names. In your presence was every reason to feel so much more significant because it was dreams of my freedom that kept you imprisoned for 27 years.


I looked at your face and it lit. Lit by dreams that have been fulfilled as you looked back at me. Your aspirations would be fulfilled through me, my friends and grow through our children. I would love to see you but I would rather I gave you rest so that you would greet one less person and have more rest so I visited you in a dream. I remained brilliant for at least 2 whole minutes. My heart spoke a fresh word because I had seen your face in the reality of my dream. I tried to read my speech but my words diminished because your person filled the room in a way that contrarily suddenly made me feel great.


What makes you so much greater is that our country is rich in resources and minerals. We have diamonds and mines rich with different kinds of gold as if it were all not enough, we have you. In that moment my heart realised your South Africanness makes us so much more affluent.


The name Mandela now robes the hills, the mountains, seas and islands of our country with a royal mantle of dignity and honours anyone who calls themselves South African. Your name adorns our many coloured flag with admiration. Your name is no lesser currency or wealth than the gold and minerals of our land.


The children covered by your 46664 campaign will benefit not only for themselves but their children’s children also. You gave us a future. By your life you lifted the lid that kept us in captivity in the land our predecessors had once freely grazed their cattle. By your carefully chosen words as you declared the new South Africa born you made us realise our own greatness. You challenged us to get out of our inferiority complexes’ and gave us permission to be brilliant.


I know there is a God because it had to take a superior-being to design such a master plan. We were a country that was so broken and desperate for a miracle. You are the perfect miracle at 90 you still amaze us.


Last year in the 90 minutes for Mandela, I wrote a poster hoping the camera man might put it on TV but decided to etch it in my dreams. It reads; “you have shown us how great we can be. My gift to you is that you will not be the last great South African because there is nothing enlightening about shrinking back.”


by Siki Dlanga

First published on as “Permission to be Brilliant”


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