Renowned African scholar Professor Patrick Lumumba has described the late former President Nelson Mandela, as a man larger than life.

Lumumba was delivering the Nelson Mandela Memorial Lecture at the Walter Sisulu University in Mthatha, Eastern Cape.

South Africa is this week celebrating the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth. Mandela was born on 18 July 1918 in a rural village of Mvezo in the Eastern Cape.

Lumumba says Mandela was a man of a great stature.

“On an occasion like this, one is tempted to follow many paths in order to mortalise a man who, through his activities, is already immortal. If I was a romanticist which I am not I would have said that Nelson Mandela was larger than life. Almost as large as death but there is a sense in which he was larger than death because true icons never die.”

African leaders

He’s highlighted what African leaders should be mindful of.

“I think that Madiba would have surveyed the continent of Africa, seeking evidence whether the content of Africa is liberated. He would have started from Cape Town. He would have started rhetorically. Is there a possibility that there’s economic appetite? Madiba would have cast his eye… would have posed the question: Did we not fight and attained independence that we may not fight against each other? He would have asked: Are we still fighting and killing each other?”

Last colonial question is land

Lumumba says without addressing the land question there will be no peace. The Professor says the unique quality of the South African land has produced some of the best people throughout history. He added that Mandela would have reminded us that power still resides in us.

“Madiba would have reminded that the last colonial question is land. If you don’t tackle the issue of land, you shall never know peace. You shall not know the peace that surpasses all understanding. And he would have told those who are listening to him that every situation demands a solution that is unique to its circumstances.

“He would have prevailed upon the South Africans that the solution lies within yourselves, and that there is a solution in resolving the problem rather than resolving the problem. I have no doubt you would have listened to Madiba.”

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