by Joshua M. Dziba, PhD | HIV/AIDS|Zimbabwe Charity, INC.
HAZ honors and celebrates the life of Nelson Rolinhlanhla Mandela (Madiba). Mandela was not a remarkable icon only for his well-known life-long fight for justice as well as social and economic parity for the people of South Africa, but also for his fight in his later years, against HIV and AIDS.
Nelson Mandela died after a long fight against a persistent lung infection on Thursday December 5, 2013 at his home in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was 95.
Having served as South Africa’s first black president following his release from a 27 year-long prison sentence in 1990, Nelson Mandela retired after serving only one term as South Africa’s president in 1999. He went on to step away from public life in 2004. In 2005 however, Mandela would step back into public life with a stunning announcement that his son had just died of AIDS. This announcement would also mark the beginning of Mandela’s last leg of his long legacy of service, as he took on the lantern of an HIV/AIDS activist, fighting to curtail the spread of AIDS, and perhaps more significantly, fighting for children and orphans affected by and living with HIV/AIDS.
Mandela’s announcement and his subsequent work with HIV/AIDS would go on to change South Africa’s attitudes and official policies towards HIV/AIDS.
It is for this late work of Mandela’s that we particularly take a moment as HIV/AIDS|Zimbabwe Charity (HAZ), to pay special tribute to the life of the now late former President, Revolutionary, HIV/AIDS Activist and Father, Nelson Rolinhlanhla Mandela. We thank you for your many sacrifices and for the many different ways in which you have touched uncountable lives not just in South Africa, or across the African continent; but also across the globe. Rest in peace Madiba. May your soul enjoy the many blessings earned from the inspiring and deeply compassionate life you lived.