All things are possible with God."
"Mediocre knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius" Arthur Conan Doyle, Sr
Good Morning Makhulu and Khulu
I hope you well and happy this morning. I'm currently working on a few paintings that I love. I came across this letter two days ago and I was truly moved by your sadness and personal loss and I felt I needed to respond immediately. Under normal circumstances I would have waited until a new masterpiece is ready to be shared with this heartfelt note. The letter cannot wait.
I can relate to it but, it also makes me talk about things I've never spoken about. It is no surprise that I love the King. He was just like no other leader.
It is written that the King was
"an important symbolic leader."
One feels his sense of leadership which is reminiscent of Khulu Madiba. It just makes you smile and laugh, it feels one with great joy. My grandma and grandpa had a portrait of the King and Queen in their home. It could have been King George and Queen Mary, Makhulu. We can't remember. It was my grandfather who told me about the King (your dad). It was a very brief encounter but I was happy, he saw that I was wondering who this wonderful gentleman with so much warmth was. And such a lovely smile. I was very happy. (My grandfather's friend would meet Prince Charles and the Duchess in Cornwall. He was in England on holiday. He came back and told me how one day out of the blue, they saw a plane landing and the people said;
"That's Prince Charles. Sometimes comes here."
So they all went to greet him and the Duchess. They couldn't stop talking about what a wonderful human being Prince Charles is and how loving and warm hearted is the Duchess.)
That encounter just stayed with me. Its one of my favorite encounters for all time to come. It was liberating. It was a celebration of the gift of life. It reminds me of the moment I saw you on the news when you were in Germany, Makhulu. The people couldn't wait to see you and when you appeared in your yellow outfit, I jumped and jumped with pure delight.
There were just beaming faces all around
Dancing, and skipping about merrily
And I said to myself
"It is finished in beauty."
Its one of my favorite movie scenes for all time to come.
The news were no more hard news.
It was showbiz at its best.
And the people of Germany loved it.
I'll never ever forget it.
It was one of the greatest gifts I've ever received.
You were a picture to behold Makhulu.
I thank God for that eternally.
And you freed the young people of Germany eternally.
I have another story to tell you about why I felt deeply moved by your state visit in Germany. I was touched deeply.
You were God sent to me for so many reasons Makhulu. I keep saying you're a prophet and you are indeed.
The strangest thing is that what makes me weep as I read your letter is that of all places in the world, it takes me back to the very reason I wanted to exhibit my work in the villages of the greater Eastern Cape. When I arrived I was told that, the village I had chosen was close to Madiba's home. I knew nothing about it. I just called telephone directory and asked for a school in one of the villages. And that's how I ended up in that school. I was so so happy when I arrived there. I had never been there before, but it was always a huge part of my being. I wanted to go there for reasons I didn't know. And when I arrived I knew it was exactly where I was meant to be. I was home at last, happy, happy and free.
The soil freed me
The air made me breadth with greater ease
The sky was brighter than I had ever known it to be
Were some of my greatest teachers
They educated me about our leaders
I was surprised
Ecstatic beyond measure
My mission was complete
I loved how they said;
"OLIVER REGINALD THAMBO"
They were enthusiastic beyond measure
So so excited.
Suddenly the work was not work
It was a game
Of fun, love and intelligence
I was in heaven.
The children were meant to join other schools for sport, but they mumbled and mumbled and mumbled protesting that they didn't want to go. They wanted to stay with their teacher and dance and just have fun. They loved singing on stage and dancing away like there was no tomorrow.
They didn't go, so the principal laughed and just gave up.
The four year olds were not meant to join us either, but they protested too and told their teacher they want art too. Their teacher laughed and told the principal. He relented too. It truly was one of the greatest moments of my life.
(And I wanted to share all of it with our First Democratically Elected President, Khulu Madiba. It was part of his healing too. You deprived him of a vital part of his well being and that is cruel. That is not love! And is caused us much pain.)
(Mr Eddie Daniels writes;
"Although Mr Mandela and Mr Sisulu could comfort us, we couldn't comfort them. When Mr Mandela's son was killed he was called to the office and informed that he had been killed in a motor accident. When he came back into the yard, you could immediately see he was down, the way he walked. Usually, I would shout 'Dalibhunga!' - that's his circumcision name- and he would shout 'Danny!' Right across the yard. I loved him, you know, I still do. And perhaps in a small way he reciprocated. But this time he didn't look at anybody. He came down the ramp and walked into his cell. We all knew something was wrong, but we all held our distance. The atmosphere was such that Mr Sisulu was the appropriate person and he went in and Mr Mandela told him what had happened and he knelt next to Mr Mandela and held his hand and comforted him. Then he came out and told us and we would go in, one by one, and sympathise with him.
Mr Mandela would go into his cell and wrap his blanket round him tight, to keep his pain inside him.")
(What kind of a relationship did Khulu have with his son?
"...I attended the gym for one and a half hours each evening from Monday to Thursday. I would go home directly after work, pick up Thembi, then drive to the community Centre. We did an hour exercise ,some combination of roadwork, skipping rope, calisthenics or shadow boxing, followed by fifteen minutes of bodywork, some weight lifting and then sparring. If we were training for a fight or tournament, we would extend the training time to two and a half hours.
We each took turns leading the training sessions in order to develop leadership, initiative and self-confidence. Thembi particularly enjoyed leading these sessions. Things would get a bit rough for me on the nights that my son was in charge, for he would single me out for criticism. He was quick to chastise me whenever I got lazy. Everybody in the gym called me 'Chief', an honorific he avoided, calling me 'Mr Mandela', and occasionally, when he felt sympathy for his old man, 'My bra', township slang meaning 'My brother'. When he saw me loafing, he would say in a stern voice,
'Mr Mandela, you are wasting our time this evening. If you cannot keep up, why not go home and sit with the old woman?' Everyone enjoyed these jibes immensely, and it gave me pleasure to see my son so happy and confident.")
To me this is a representation of the family of God to which we all belong. And this is the reason it felt so right to give my exhibition photographs to Miss Graca Marchel who actually asked for them and Archbishop Tutu. I was quite happy to give them my work, especially when one hears them speak with such great passion and emotion about Girl Day. Our elders. I mean who wouldn't when you read beautiful words such as these about our former First Lady?
"Thanks be to God that he has (khulu Mandela) found such solace, caring and love from Graca who lives out her name as a gracious and devoted and beautiful person." Archbishop Tutu
"There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children. There is no duty more important than ensuring that their rights are respected, that their welfare is protected, that their lives are free from fear and want and that they can grow up in peace."
-- Kofi Annan
I happened to write a lovely email to Archbishop Tutu on this day and he responded with great warmth. I was still displaced and isolated, he knew all about it since I wrote to him and told him everything. I learnt from an early age that suffering while serving humanity is truly the greatest honor known to human kind and truly all that matters. Is there anything that is too difficult for God?
"On the eve of the inaugural International Day of the Girl Child, Secretary Clinton today convened a meeting with leaders in government and the private sector, including South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Chair of The Elders, to discuss their shared commitment to improving the lives of girls worldwide. Following the meeting, the Secretary announced new U.S. Government and private initiatives to prevent child marriage and promote girls’ education around the world."
Clinton's Launch of New Initiatives to Raise Status of Girls | London, UK - Embassy of the United States
This is exactly where The Chair of the Elders was meant to speak about that situation. Surely innocent lives would have been saved.
Domestic violence is pandemic and it spills over infecting a larger part of our society like a disease. One is however uplifted by messages of love such as this one;
Take a look at this letter.
King George VI writes touching letter to Princess Elizabeth
"In a letter to her parents soon after the marriage, Elizabeth wrote: “I only hope that I can bring up my children in the happy atmosphere of love and fairness which Margaret and I have grown up in,” she wrote, adding that she and Philip “behave as though we had belonged to each other for years! Philip is an angel—he is so kind and thoughtful.” Philip wrote, "Cherish Lilibet? I wonder if that word is enough to express what is in me.” He remarked that she was “the only ‘thing’ in this world which is absolutely real to me, and my ambition is to weld the two of us into a new combined existence that will not only be able to withstand the shocks directed at us but will also have a positive existence for the good.”
I turned down different offers Makhulu to exhibit in high and mighty places, because it was not authentic. Corruption, and I wrote to Archbishop Tutu and told him about what happened. Our economy today does not surprise me at all. It is the manifestation of the behavior that so called powerful leaders have been exhibiting for a very long time. It is their lack of professionalism, their barbarism and sheer hatred that is causing disorder in our nation. This is unspeakable violence. Crimes against humanity. And this is a reflection of what is happening internally, thus homes and work places. If the mind is not transformed sadly I must say this country is in great danger of loosing absolutely everything. Who will invest in a country run by a few individuals who's concern is only to enrich themselves and their families. They must fix it. This is their mass, we will have The New South Africa that our ancestors dreamt of! We will not inherit their lies and disfuntion. They will fix it. The consequences are severe. And they will pay dearly. I needn't say that it is exactly how life works, because they are adults, professionals and renowned for their brilliance. Qualified priests and civil servants, leaders who continuously preach this gospel only to discover its not preaching they are doing.
Who are they?
Thank You so much Makhulu for your love, stunning leadership and your courage.
The Duke of Cambridge wrote;
"I speak for my generation when I say her example and continuity is not only very rare among leaders but a great source of pride and reassurance."
We thank you Khulu for being such a wonderful father. A father leads. A father is the head of the home and nations. You remarkable. I remember reading about how happy Khulu Madiba was when he received your letter just before he was inaugurated. I was deeply moved by it. It was so profound. It means a lot to us. He is actually the one who told me about you. I was giddy with joy. My heart nearly exploded from sheer happiness. Its freedom. Giggles.
I read that;
" On her husband, Queen Elizabeth II has said: "He is someone who doesn't take easily to compliments. But he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I and his whole family, in this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim or we shall ever know."
I also read that;
"When the King’s health started declining and Elizabeth and Philip needed to take his place more frequently at public events, Philip took an open-ended leave from the Navy that effectively ended his military career. “I thought I was going to have a career in the Navy, but it came obvious there was no hope… There was no choice. It just happened. You have to make compromises. That’s life. I accept it. I tried to make the best of it,” he later reflected."
May God continue to bless you and your entire family. May he continue to command his angels to watch over your comings and goings. And may he grant you the desires of your heart.
We send you our love and endless joy forever more.
Thank You so much.