A long walk to freedom: The legacy of Nelson Mandela

There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires. – Long Walk to Freedom

RIP Nelson Rohlilahla Mandela  18/07/1918-5/12/1013

My Tribute To Madiba 

“Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity.” –  

Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished. – Nelson Mandela

A great man is gone, a legend is born. Africa has lost a freedom fighter & gained a valuable role model leaving us with an invaluable legacy. 

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination” Nelson Mandela

Besides the mourning, the tributes & the emotions the iconic man’s loss has aroused, I believe that Mandela is one of those immortal beings who transcend death & time through their heritage. 

« I dream of an Africa which is in peace with itself. » Nelson Mandela on peace 

His life is a testimony impacting  the lives of the present generation & will  also touch the future ones. I reminisce Mandela & Deklerk walking side by side that day of February 1990. 

I always knew that someday I would once again feel the grass under my feet and walk in the sunshine as a free man. – Long Walk to Freedom. Mandela on hope

It was winter in Paris & tears started rolling down on my cheeks. I was strangled with emotions & mixed feelings. I was torn between hate for apartheid, relief & sadness for Mandela. He was free but he was old. But the future showed us that age is not a fatal issue when you are destined for greatness.

I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.  I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended. – Long Walk to Freedom- Nelson Mandela on empowerment

I was aware of witnessing a unique moment of history. The oppressor & the oppressed together as one got a Nobel Prize for peace, another moment in history I am not ready to forget. 

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies” Nelson Mandela

Just few years later, in 1996, as a young executive in telecommunications, based in Abidjan, I was given the opportunity to do an internship at MTN offices in South Africa. I was in my 20’s & visiting the country of Mandela had been on my bucket list from the day apartheid regime was dismantled. 

I am the product of Africa and her long-cherished view of rebirth that can now be realized so that all of her children may play in the sun. –Nelson Mandela  

However, in those days, even though black, white, Indians, colored etc. were supposed to live together as one, I could feel the stigmas of almost 50 years of racial discrimination within the South African Society. Clearly, the black population was still scarred &desperately was trying to integrate fully to the ideal of rainbow nation of Madiba. 

The time for the healing of the wounds has come. The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come. The time to build is upon us. Nelson Mandela on peace

On a Friday evening, at MTN offices, we had a get together with the staff & each community was sticking to its people. As a cosmopolitan person & an outsider to that society, I was going from one group to the other, a bit uncomfortable but trying to remind to myself that it was a new country, with new codes & that they needed time to understand each other’s. 

“To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” Nelson Mandela on freedom

Mandela dreamt of a united South Africa where all the citizens, regardless of their race or skin color would work as one. His aim was to build a discrimination free country where forgiveness, peace, tolerance & understanding would prevail. 

‘When I walked out of prison,that was my mission, to liberate the oppressed and the oppressor both “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” Nelson Mandela on love

He showed a sense of integrity& respect towards what was South Africa: a multi racial nation. As a man he publicly admitted his weaknesses when him & Winnie agreed to divorce instead of just pretending it was ok like so many couples do. As a leader he left his Presidential office without being forced, teaching a great lesson of humility & democracy to many African head of States clinging on to power like their life depended on their positions. 

 am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying must step down while there are one or two people who admire me. The time is always right to do right. Nelson Mandela on humility

Madiba awakened hope in the heart of the hopeless, he showed the world that legendary leaders can emerge in the midst of chaos, shaping a new perspective for a youth in despair. 

“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.” Nelson Mandela on Afroptimism

From my first trip in South Africa, I came back with a book that would impact my perspective on life forever: “A long walk to freedom”. Mandela’s life is a story of endurance, courage, faith, persistence & generosity. 

“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” Mandela on endurance

“A winner is a dreamer who never gives up” Mandela on persistence

“The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Long Walk to Freedom. Mandela on courage

As an actor of our history, his memoirs taught me one simple thus beautiful lesson: As long as you have a long healthy life, a strong will & good heart, there is space & time for your dreams.

“A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens but its lowest ones.” Nelson Mandela on Respect & leadership

“It always seems impossible until it’s done. « 

Mandela on Faith

By holding on to his values & to his dreams, Mandela was given the blessing to become the first black president of South Africa at 76 years old. So don’t give up! As you long as you have faith, courage & persistence, your dreams may come true. 

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” Nelson Mandela on generosity 


The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement! Nelson Mandela

There is strenght in weakness… 

You dont have to be always Strong, there is strenght in weakness. 

Life is a cycle with ups & down, a war front where we face daily challenges & overcome struggles.  They can be the loss of a loved one, a break Up, a necessary change of lifestyle , the  fight for survival , a chronic disease…
 It Has been a cliché to praise strong women & men , to do the apology of emotionless super heroes and forget that after all, we are all so human, So vulnerable,  So sensitive & breakable.   I think the trend pushing us into pretending to be strong & unbreakable is the greatest disease of our Times . We refrain from crying, avoid showing our heartaches & ignore the healing process attached to any brutal event that May affect our lives. Emotionally we need to allow ourselves to go through the process that will lead us to acceptance. Instead of doing so, we shut our feelings, pretend to be fine,  fake happiness & move on , unaware that we are broken inside. And unknowingly, ONE Day we have symptoms of PTSD (post traumatric stress disorder) caused by the absence of grieving from a traumatizing experience. Myself ,I have often appeared as being the Strong woman , the leading sister in control, seemingly happy & smiling through hell . I was taught that a strong woman keeps her pain to herself. I was raised as a Fulani not to show off my emotions & feelings & never to expose my weaknesses.  But life has taught me a different lesson:  I have come to realize that being down & low is a strenght that will allow me to heal properly , to have thinner scars , to repair the broken parts of me. Skipping that stage is what contributes to Create nervous breakdown,  bitterness & a feeling of unhappiness that can’t be explained or defined . Go back to your abandonned heartaches, list them, face them, evaluate their level of healing, act upon them , grieve, hate , cry, then soothe, forgive & start healing by mending your open scars. All the wounds you left open inside you, that may affect Your emotional well Being , allow them to be closed & heal as needed . Talk to whoever you need to , forget about the African « What People would think » drama ,after all they are as human & vulnerable as you are, ignore the How  society would judge  you » & share your suffering . If It means talking to a shrink , do It. If It means crying in the arms of your mother or siblings, do it, however you need to let It Out, just do It. Dont Keep that poison inside you , let It flow, let It build you, let It strenghten you , then you will be ready to move on permanently. 
Beware,  I Never said you should mourn forever but give It a timeframe that will allow you to come out of it refreshed not broken into pieces. We are not super heroes of fiction with magic Powers that Will Help us heal in minutes , We are just humans regardless of our age, position or gender , We have feelings , We have weaknesses, We have empathy & we cannot shut our human side in the name of appearing strong for the sake of appearances. 

Be empowered by your weaknesses 

To the hearts I have broken : please forgive me. 

​I spent so much time in pain dwelling  about heartbreaks & darkness in my soul. I cried out torn by an Insane love story in which I was the victim & the other was the eternal heartbreaker. Wait a minute!  Rewind…  How many hearts have I broken myself?  In the selfishness of my egotistical relationships drama do I ever think about those who may be the victims?  And you do you ever put yourself in the shoes of those you may have hurt.  Do you think about that guy who loved you that you tried loving and left just because you never fell in love with him? You remember his name?  Have you ever felt any compassion for his pain?  I didn’t. I just moved on carelessly & felt like I was right because I didn’t love him.  

What about that amazing guy who made a small mistake but you just couldn’t forgive him in the name of your misled & misplaced pride.  

You are not the only one worthy of forgiveness. 

So this it the other way round. They may call it Karma. I just call it life path.  That path is not easy to walk and we must not only be self centered & self conscious but we must also care about those who love us.  How many friends have we hurt knowingly or unknowingly?  Did we even try to understand the why & how? 

I tried to dig inside my selfish self & managed to remember the hearts I may have broken , torn or bruised:   Family members, friends or lovers?  It is not a very agreeable exercise but I realized it helps.  Hurting hurts & feeling uneasy about what we did confirms it wasn’t right. What doesn’t feel good and right is generally bad & wrong.  We are not just the result of our pains. We are also the product of our guilt trips.  To all the hearts I may have broken consciously or unconsciously FOrgive me as I am working towards self forgiveness. It is not about stating excuses or giving explanations but just about consciously acknowledging that I am not nicer than those who have hurt me.  I am also responsible for some pains & some people think about me as the person who killed their hopes at a given time in life.  I had to unlove them then for some reasons that seemed valid to me at that time.  Exactly the same way, those who hurt me had to do so to find their own peace of mind when it happened.  I replaced blame shifting ,  guilt tripping & remorses with responsibility. And here I am before the world finding peace in awareness & taking responsibility for hearts broken on my life path.  

Peace Love & Light.  It is never the end as long as you breathe. 

Be Empowered because you are powerful. 



We thank God , we survived wars, shootings, accidents, floods, Mayan predictions, our neighbours’ loud music, etc. It may sound funny but it is not for each minute of life we have is a blessing. We may be hurt, scorned, depressed, lonely, or none of the above, whatever counts is being ALIVE. So let’s make the most of this coming year by being OURSELVES as much as we can, move on & up as far as we allow ourselves to go & don’t withhold on who you are no matter what. Lire la suite HAPPY NEW YOU 2013!

Naboulove Power Series 7-There Is So Much Power In Faith


“None of us knows what might happen even the next minute, yet still we go forward. Because we trust. Because we have Faith.”  Paulo Coelho
Faith is believing without seeing, trusting without knowing, cultivating an inner feeling of peace, knowing that no matter what, as long as we move, even if we stumble upon something or fall into pieces, eventually God will lift us up. Faith has so many faces, names, etc. Kids hv faith in their parents, trusting them to guide them support them & lead them into life. But most parents hv God whatever their religion is, to enlighten them & guide them to raise proper men & women. Faith moves mountain. As a matter of fact if u believe in yourself sincerely, you will find in you a strenght that will make u achieve above your expectations. Sincerity in your faith is one of the key to powerful achievements. Steve Jobs never stopped in spite of ups & downs in his career. And Now here we’re all possessed by the Apple logo. Iphone, Ipad, I believe.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Faith is what turns a singer into a star, a writer into a universal messenger, an ordinary person into doing extraordinary things. But don’t be fooled or naïve faith comes with movement, « keep on moving don’t stop now » says the song. Faith is about moving, doing, being. To have faith is not compatible with a static state. You can’t walk if you don’t stand up & put one foot after the other. Adversity, hardship, suffering, challenges are part our life. If the majority didn’t have faith at all, we would undergo collective suicide rituals. Overlook the discomfort & keep on believing without forgetting a discerning attitude. To hv faith is also to aknowledge our mistakes, correct them or realize we are on the wrong path & look for a better way. As we know all now life is the path not the destination. So let’s make it a power path with a faith as strong a mustard seed to move the mountains on our way. Practice, patience, passion & persistence will strengthen your faith along the road . Read the signs, but keep on believing you can fly & touch the sky as long as you are moving.
“Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith.”Henry Ward Beecher


African Love stories romance Relationtionships