Singing You and Madiba

Hank Oumar Ba is Almost 4 year old. Mandela is his hero. He is serious about it.

He seemed very worried and tried for a while to find someone to heal Madiba when the news went around that he was very sick. For Halloween he definitely didn’t want to be a witch or ghost he wanted to be Mandela instead. So we had to figure out a Mandela costume that doesn’t sell in shops in Dakar. He even told me one day that Nelson Mandela last name is Ba like his name Hank Omar Ba.When with doubts I ask how and why he said: his name is Nelson Mandela Madi Ba…

He has a shirt that he calls his Mandela shirt it is a multicolored Ethiopian design clothes I brought back from South Africa, last night as I was negotiating to put him into bed, he didn’t want to wear pajamas but one of his Mandela shirt that we couldn’t find…

I rise up this morning with the news so we looked and found the shirt so he could wear it to school…


Even though everyone knew this end was coming. We now have to stop and mark the moment, pay respect to a transition of a human life.

We generally only say the good things about dead people but truth is the man was handsome, lucky, strong, and intelligent, he lived long enough to see some his dreams come through. What else could he ask for? He is a giant. I love him admire him as many people do around the world like little Hank Oumar Ba. He has defied death a long time ago.  He has found long ago the simple path to eternity, entering in the memory of children yet to be born.


As we celebrate him, as we celebrate his life, his gift to Africa and to all to justice seekers around the world, I also take this opportunity to celebrate many other giants, many who helped him be who he was, many who were part of the movement against Apartheid. I would like to celebrate those who raise him, those who supported him, those who protected him, those who fed him, those who made him happy, those who shared his dreams.

I also celebrate many invisible giants of yesterday and I celebrate you changemakers of today people who have been working, giving energy, sweat, blood, resources given your life for justice for peace. To mark Madiba’s death, I celebrate you and people like you who are making change happen, people who woke up this morning with your mind set on challenging injustice and bringing about change offering solutions.

May this be a moment to sing for Mandela and you. If it is true that the same fire moves you that moved Madiba.





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