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"27 years! You shed tears for others, you shed tears for others"

Published: 2013-12-06

IFS mourns Nelson Mandela's passing and acknowledges a great man's contribution to humanity.

Graham Haylor, IFS DirectorOn behalf of the IFS community, I would like to share our feelings of loss and sorrow following the death yesterday of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Our thoughts are with Graça Machel, his daughters Makaziwe, Zindzi and Zenani and close family, the people of South Africa, and all those who have been touched by the extraordinary life and times of the man often referred to as Khulu, the shortened isiXhosa word “uBawomkhulu” for “grandfather”.

We are all guided in our lives by countless things, and many of us draw comfort, council and direction from other people, maybe from wise fathers, mothers, grandparents, siblings, friends or colleagues. Occasionally, other figures who rise to public prominence fulfil such a role and sometimes on a huge scale. Nelson Mandela swelled in his lifetime to fulfil this role for much of humanity.   Read more

Today we are united in spending the first day without the figure who has been, for so many, a guide, not only to what can be done in the face of the big challenges, but to how much it is possible to live a life that embodies and creates the changes we seek.

This morning an International Foundation for Science regional capability building workshop taking place in Benin, began by singing the Salif Keita 1995 tribute to Nelson Mandela ‘You shed tears for others’. As many shed tears now for our loss, let us strive to each take on a small part of the responsibility to tackle poverty, violence and indignity and uphold the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunity.


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