As we watch South Africa hold a memorial service for Nelson Mandela, one feature stands out. People everywhere are dancing, singing and celebrating. Mbeki, when asked by BBC commentator, gave a beautiful explanation for this. He said that in South Africa the departed neither go to heaven nor hell. Their spirits (as ancestors) remain guiding the lives of people. That is why when someone departs, they celebrate because they departed have now become their guardian angels. What a wonderful thought!
Indeed there is a huge lesson for all of us here. Instead of merely mourning the dead, we must celebrate their legacy. Do not mourn death. Celebrate life!
Nelson Mandela is and will remain in the hearts and minds of people only when we celebrate. His ideals of freedom, equality, empathy and forgiveness will and must live in our hearts when we want to realise a better world for us and leave a good legacy for our children.
Long live Nelson Mandela, long live freedom!