thanks for the colour

95 portraits for a 95th birthday

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Manfred Lynn Fitzgerald 


Spain 


I'd like to thank Nelson Mandela for the colour because… 

Madiba - I was young and now I'm old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. 

Happy Birthday. 

 

Maria Josefina Perez Lante Della Rovere 


Born: Santiago, Chile - Lives: Quinta de Tilcoco, Chile 

Age: 28 

Occupation: Tourism Guide 


I'd like to thank Nelson Mandela for the colour because… 

you were brave enough to stand up and speak your mind. 

 

Melinda Choi 


Born and Lives: Sydney, Australia 

Age: 26 

Occupation: Social Worker 


I'd like to thank Nelson Mandela for the colour because… 

of the hope you have provided me (and the world, though they may not always listen), that change can happen and is worth fighting for, even if it takes longer than one lifetime. Colour is the meaning of life, and life brings colour.

 

Micaela Roughton 


Born: Sault Ste. Marie, Canada - Lives: Vancouver, Canada 

Age: 30 

Occupation: Higher Ed/NGO Founder 


I'd like to thank Nelson Mandela for the colour because… 

As a young Canadian girl, I remember watching a film and first learning about apartheid in my elementary school geography class. I recall feeling shocked, angered and at a loss to understand how and why human beings could treat each other so horribly. I began to read everything I could about South Africa and Madiba, you quickly found a special place in my heart. I came to see you as a father figure with a fiery soul, a wise head, and a gentle heart, with many lessons to teach about life, love, courage, and grace. I clearly remember watching both your release from prison, and your eventual election as President through tear-filled eyes. 

From a distance, you have shaped my own life journey in unique ways. In university, I became fascinated with the concept of restorative justice, and focused my undergraduate capstone on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It was through this research that I first heard you describe the philosophy of Ubuntu (a person is a person through other people), which remains at the core of my worldview. In times of frustration and anger, I often reflect on all you endured; reminding myself that if you could survive 27 years in prison, rejecting bitterness and embracing mercy and forgiveness, than I too must find the grace to model these virtues in my own life. After finishing school I went on to found a small charity (Homes of Joy), which supports AIDS orphans, and prioritizes access to education. Although I find a great deal of joy in this work, it has not been without challenges. In times when I am uncertain of the path ahead, I reflect back on all I have learned from you, and remind myself that although there may be obstacles in my path, they are never insurmountable. Although so many of your words have touched my heart, the ones that I carry with my always are as follows: “There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

Madiba, I want to thank you for teaching me the importance of service and of never 

giving up belief that the ultimate goodness of humanity truly always does outweigh and triumph over the bad. Thank you for inspiring me to nurture my passions in life, to have faith, to believe in my dreams, and to push forward to conquer my fears. Thank you for teaching me that courage and fear are not mutually exclusive. Thank you for teaching me to be tolerant and humble, except when faced with intolerance. Thank you for teaching me to refuse to view humanity within constructed binary oppositions. Thank you for demonstrating the importance and value of “leading from the back,” and of knowing when to fight and when to let go. Above all else, thank you for standing tall as an example of forgiveness and mercy, and for showing us all just how monumental an impact one person truly can make in this world. 


Happy 95th Birthday Madiba, and thank you for the colour. 

 

Nadia Siregar 


Lives: Bogor, Indonesia 

Age: 32 

Occupation: Teacher 


I'd like to thank Nelson Mandela for the colour because… 

Mr Mandela, you have opened our eyes. When human rights equalization become the first and most important thing, the peace of the world may occur. 

 

Nanette de Vecchi


Born: Johannesburg, South Africa - Lives: Genova, Italy 

Age: 47 

Occupation: Nia Dance teacher 


I'd like to thank Nelson Mandela for the colour because… 

you remind me daily about the importance of radical forgiveness and how it can empower you to move forward.

 

Narenda Rai


Lives: Sydney, Australia 

Age: 34 


I'd like to thank Nelson Mandela for the colour because… 

you are the mirror image of the Northern Star in the Southern Hemisphere, people will look up to you for navigations of their lives.

 

Natina Harris 


Born: Camden, NJ, USA - Lives: Durham, NC, USA 

Age: 41 

Occupation: RPSGT 


I'd like to thank Nelson Mandela for the colour because… 

you are a revolutionary hero! 

 

Neeraj Shah 


Born: Mombasa, Kenya - Lives: Johannesburg, South Africa 

Age: 44 

Occupation: Company Director 


I'd like to thank Nelson Mandela for the colour because… 

you touched the lives of millions all over the world for the ideals you stood and fought 

for. There isn't a man known more for his courage, leadership, and passion for equality 

than you. Your life has been one of selfless sacrifice and yet of incredible courage 

and passion. 


Your constant optimism in trying times, and always, is an inspiration to me and the world over. Thank you Madiba.

 

Nicola Andreani 


Born: Johannesburg, South Africa - Lives: Dubai, United Arab Emirates 

Age: 14 

Occupation: Student 


I'd like to thank Nelson Mandela for the colour because… 

you pulled a nation out of the rubble and brought light into your people's eyes. You gave hope to people who needed it; you showed strength in your time of weakness; and you never gave up on a nation that you are proud to call your own. 

 

Nicolo Stortiglione Pudel 


Born: Milan, Italy - Lives: Cape Town, South Africa 

Age: 29 

Occupation: Entrepreneur/Advertising 


I'd like to thank Nelson Mandela for the colour because… 

you showed the world that there is always a positive way forward. I am lucky enough to live in your beautiful Rainbow Nation. 

 

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