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A poem inspired by Nelson Mandela

When Nelson Mandela passed, many around the world felt compelled to express themselves. Tanenbaum’s CEO, Joyce Dubensky, shared this on The Huffington Post. Afterward, Vasu Gounden, founder of the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes, shared this poem with us.



In the black hole

of death and hopelessness

I lived my enslavement

a lifeless existence

a slow painful death

in the shadow of darkness

beaten into submission

robbed of my dignity

used and abused

they reached for my soul

a slow…painful death

in the shadow of apartheid’s darkness

In my weak body

my hidden heart cried

my dry eyes resisted

the death of my soul

I slowly grew stronger

in the shadow of his light

behind icy waters and high walls

in the bosom of their darkness

in the depth of our despair

his light shone day and night

like a beacon of hope

in the middle of the ocean

my soul grew stronger

in the shadow of Madiba’s light



06 DECEMBER 2013

Written on the plane on my return home from Brazil in deep contemplation of the light that Madiba’s life was in the darkest moments of our struggle against the darkness of apartheid!