Heidi Trautmann

264 - Nelson Mandela International Day


By Heidi Trautmann


„We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference,” this is Nelson Mandela’s leitmotiv and message to us all.

The Association for Historical Dialogue and Research and UNFICYP have invited all people to the Home for Cooperation in the UN Buffer Zone to commemorate together the 2nd Nelson Mandela International Day and his 93rd birthday on July 18 with the screening of the Clint Eastwood’s movie Invictus.

It is a very touching film and it is meant to convey the message that whatever your background, colour, education, your life situation, you as individual can do your part to change the world. It must not be a big deed but a couple of minutes a day suffice. Invictus, undefeated and the captain of my soul. This is what Nelson Mandela tried to achieve and did achieve during all his years of public service. It was his prayer in the years of imprisonment to start every day: Invictus and the captain of my soul.

The film brought it all up in me, my years in South Africa, in Johannesburg, where two of my sons were born. In the years of apartheid when the well meaning white people were facing punishment when they were caught treating black people as equals; a time of bad memories and when deKlerk the then president freed Nelson Mandela after many talks nobody knew what would happen but it was the only chance for beautiful South Africa to get out of a possible death trap. He did it, we now know, an enormous task, and he did it in his selfless, kind and peace-minded way, his charisma, against the advice of his closest friends, even against the will of his family.

He did not want revenge but forgiveness and the will for peaceful coexistence and cooperation.

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