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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Nelson Mandela passes away, is remembered on campus

Nelson+Mandela
Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela, the father of modern South Africa and the anti-apartheid icon, died on Thursday at his home in Johannesburg after a prolonged lung infection.
“The world lost a great icon, a great mentor, someone who symbolized reconciliation and love,” mourned Dr. Marc Prou, Chair of the Africana Studies Department at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
Mandela was 95 years old when he passed away.  He was South Africa’s first black president as well as the first democratic president of his country.
Before his presidency, Mandela spent nearly 3 decades of imprisonment because of his political belief and his anti-apartheid fight. During his incarceration, he was forced to quarry limestone, harvest seaweed and endure brutality from the guards.
“His life in prison does not weaken his vision for change and commitment to the fight for social justice and equality, ” Dr. Prou said.
Mandela’s government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling institutionalized racism, poverty and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation.
Dr. Prou mentioned that Mandela was an inspiration to the world. “He was supporting causes that were beyond the African continent horizon,” he said.
Mandela helped establish the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which sought to record human rights violations from all sides of the apartheid struggle, but also had the power to grant amnesty to those who committed abuses.
“One of the many lessons of compassion and love Mandela has taught is that we all can live together,” said Dr Prou. “We all can look at the past as something to reflect upon moving toward the future, and not to make the same failed mistake or inflicted the same pain our neighbors may have done to us.”
Nelson Mandela’s funeral is next Sunday, Dec. 15, in Eastern Cape Province in the village of Qunu.
“We will spend the week mourning his passing,” South African President Jacob Zuma told his countrymen in a press release. “We will also spend it celebrating a life well-lived, a life that we must emulate for the betterment of our country,” Zuma wrote. 
U.S. President Barack Obama, in press release from the White House, said, “We’ve lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth.”
“For many centuries there will be no one like Nelson Mandela,” concluded Dr Prou.