Thursday, February 20, 2014

Mandela's Hero

Have you ever wondered who is a hero to a hero?  Nelson Mandela was a man admired, respected, and a hero to many.  He marveled at an eleven year old South African boy, Nkosi Johnson, and referred to him as an “icon of the struggle for life.”  They both are heroes in my book. 

 Nkosi Johnson and Nelson Mandela were South Africans who fought battles in their country.  Mandela fought against the brutal oppression of Apartheid the better part of his life.  Nkosi warred against the discrimination, stigma, and ignorance directed towards those infected with HIV/AIDS during his short lifetime.  He fought especially hard for the children orphaned by or inflicted with the deadly disease. 

Mandela joined Nkosi’s war against HIV/AIDS after his son, Makgatho Mandela, died of AIDS in 2005 just four years after the death of Nkosi at the age of twelve.  Mandela had no idea when he heard little Nkosi Johnson keynote speech at the 13th International AIDS Conference at Durban, South Africa, in 2000 that his world would be touched by the dreaded disease.  He founded the Nelson Mandela Foundation for AIDS research and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund to assist children orphaned by AIDS.  Nkosi's Haven founded in 1999 provides care for HIV/AIDS infected mothers, their children, and AIDS orphans.
 Nkosi is listed with Nelson Mandela among SABC3’s Greatest South Africans.  He was honored by the KidsRights Foundation as one of 7 Children Who Changed the World.  Gail Johnson, his white South African adoptive mother, accepted the International Children’s Peace Prize from Mikhail Gorbachev posthumously on behalf of her son in 2005.

 Nelson Mandela is my hero and so is Nkosi Johnson.  They both changed the world!    

No comments: