Many South Africans may have found themselves thinking that there is no hope for a fully prosperous and united South Africa. I, however, believe very differently. We all live with the same hopes and dreams for our beloved country and with the right mentality we can overcome the challenges faced in creating a truly united nation. No longer will we have to face discrimination and unfair treatment because of our race, religion, or lifestyle! All we need to do is to learn from past errors and build on the sacrifices made for us all to be free.
Nelson Mandela is my role model and I think he is a hero in the eyes of nearly every South African. He is a great example of a South African who sacrificed for the greater good of our country. He helped abolish the oppressive system of apartheid, and he did so by choosing the route of negotiation and reconciliation instead of the violent and chaotic route. He led by example so that we could build on what he started. We must not let a great man’s sacrifice for our country go unnoticed. Only once we change our own ways can we change those of others.
How do we build on South Africa’s sacrifices? Mandela simply created equality between white and non-white people. The law unfortunately does not always stop the wrongful racial and religious discrimination experienced daily by each one of us. Therefore, it is our responsibility as residents of this beautiful nation to put aside our differences and understand that the unknown should not be feared but embraced, for knowledge is power and ignorance is the downfall of us all. Thanks to Mandela, I realized that to build, we must eliminate the prejudices instilled in us from older generations and create a generation free from these harmful, unnecessary prejudices.
Talk is cheap, but walking is scarce. To unite fifty-eight million of us South Africans is a large-scale operation, and without proper action, it is just talk. It becomes even more difficult when living standards are very different between races and religions. Thanks to Mandela and his struggle, I realized that educating our poor is the key to our walk. And before long, we will be running toward our shared goal of unity.
To conclude, I believe that it is vital that every single one of us continue creating a South Africa worthy of its sacrifices. We are not defined by the past. However racial, religious, and lifestyle discrimination is a problem developed from our past and until we, like Mandela, abolish the obstacles standing before us, we will not be able to unify. As my role model, Nelson Mandela taught me that we are not stand alone. Rather, shoulder to shoulder with a man or woman who has overcome adversity together with us. I don't want to see any division, only one chain of diverse links who sacrificed for their country, who walked for their country, and who no longer must suffer discrimination.