Ode To Nelson Mandela

Ode to Nelson Mandela

…Sublime Rolihlahla of South Africa


By Apolinario Villalobos


July 18, 1918 – lucky day for South Africa

For this day saw the birth of Rolihlahla

Later given a Christian name, Nelson

When he began his studies, as a custom.

Toiling  for survival as a fatherless child

He dreamed of one day, be part of struggle –

For freedom… aspired, desired by his people

Though he knew that such wish is not simple.

His journey through the portals of knowledge

Were not as fortunate, for despite two attempts

To have a college degree, he failed to achieve

But for such dream, he fearlessly persevered.

Graduated with Ll.B, although in absentia –

In 1989, thanks to University of South Africa

Making it on his last months of imprisonment

That filled his heart with intense sentiment.

Life in a country of strife far from being free

Is not what Nelson wanted, but one with unity

His effort brought him to prison not only once

But he vowed to fight on, whatever the chance.

Never did he accept the bribe of three offers-

Setting him free but with binding conditions

Such an insincere gesture, for him is just trash –

That only a man without honor may readily grasp.

1991 saw him as ANC President that he deserved

And in 1993, given Nobel Prize with de Klerk jointly

A year after, 27th of April, casting his first vote ever –

Such achievements, no longer made Nelson wonder.

Inaugurated as South Africa’s first elected President

It was in May 10, 1992, under the shadow of democracy

And true to his promise, stepped down after his term

It was in 1999, feeling fulfilled in achieving his dream.

A humble inspiration to the trampled and exploited

Nelson Mandela exemplified honesty and sincerity

With which he fought for equal opportunity and unity –

He succeed…

And, the achieved harmony for his people

Will always be his priceless legacy.