Boyd Varty: What I learned from Nelson Mandela

“In the cathedral of the wild, we get to see the best parts of ourselves reflected back to us.” Boyd Varty, a wildlife activist, shares stories of animals, humans and their interrelatedness, or “ubuntu” — defined as, “I am, because of you.” And he dedicates the talk to South African leader Nelson Mandela, the human embodiment of that same great-hearted, generous spirit.

In his native South Africa, Boyd Varty builds wildlife corridors to restore the environment and literacy centers to restore the human spirit.

Everyone has felt that connection with nature. Through the Good Work Foundation, Boyd Varty is building a movement around it. The fourth-generation custodian of the Londolozi Game Reserve in South Africa calls it a psychology of restoration. “We would like to be pioneers of the age of restoration,” says Varty. “Restoration of land, people and the human spirit.”

By providing environmental, English and computer education to the people who live and work in Londolozi, he’s also creating an economically and socially sustainable model for conservation.

“Boyd will help you transform the ideas and inspiration that are rising to the surface of your consciousness into a solid, workable life plan.”

Martha Beck, the African STAR

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A Liturgy of Remembrance for Nelson Mandela

We Gather

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith,
let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up.
And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
(Hebrews 12:1 – NLT)

Eternal God,
In your infinite love for women and men,
you incarnated yourself in Christ,
and revealed your nature and your purpose to us;

In your infinite love for poor and wealthy,
you laid aside your glory
and walked among us as one of us;

In your infinite love for every race and tribe and nation,
you brought a new world into being
and taught us to live as citizens of God’s Reign; Continue reading “A Liturgy of Remembrance for Nelson Mandela”

Madiba, Rest in Peace! Your Memory Will Live Forever!

Nelson Mandela

“He no longer belongs to us. He belongs to the ages” – US President Barack Obama

Madiba is gone. He will be missed and remembered forever.

As I have explained a number of times already, I must confess that before going to England to study theology, my impression of Mandela,rooted in the common prejudices of American inspired conservative evangelicalism, was that is a mere ‘rotten communist’ and nothing more. All his fight to freedom from apartheid did not have much value for me. He was a leftist and ended the conversation for me.

Then, in England, I realised that the socialist movement was not created by atheist communists, but about Christians who tried to temper the violent excesses of wild capitalism, in order to help bring a better life for the poor and marginalised that the utter selfishness and greed at the core of capitalism left behind. Continue reading “Madiba, Rest in Peace! Your Memory Will Live Forever!”

Nelson Mandela’s Address to the People of Cape Town on the Occasion of his Inauguration as State President

Nelson Mandela’s Address to the People of Cape Town on the Occasion of his Inauguration as State President
Grand Parade, Cape Town (May 9, 1994)

LISTEN to the speech

* * *

Mr. Master of Ceremonies,
Your Excellencies,
Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
My Fellow South Africans:

Today we are entering a new era for our country and its people. Today we celebrate not the victory of a party, but a victory for all the people of South Africa.

Our country has arrived at a decision. Among all the parties that contested the elections, the overwhelming majority of South Africans have mandated the African National Congress to lead our country into the future. The South Africa we have struggled for, in which all our people, be they African, Coloured, Indian or White, regard themselves as citizens of one nation is at hand. Continue reading “Nelson Mandela’s Address to the People of Cape Town on the Occasion of his Inauguration as State President”

Senzenina? – The Rallying Song of the Fight Against Apartheid

Today, in honour of the departed Nelson Mandela – may God rest him in peace, I will keep this on the front of my blog.

May God bless South Africa!

Senzeni Na? (Zulu/Xhosa)          What Have We Done? (English)

Senzenina                                   What have we done?
Sono sethu ubumnyama              Our sin is our blackness
Sono sethu yinyaniso                   Our sin is the truth
Sibulawayo                                  They are killing us
Mayibuye i Africa.                        Let Africa return.

(Source, On Being) Continue reading “Senzenina? – The Rallying Song of the Fight Against Apartheid”

9000 Days – Invictus – Theme song

Grupul Batrinilor – doi ani de activitate

The Elders1

La 17 iulie s-au împlinit doi ani de la formarea grupului independent numit The Elders [Bătrânii], despre care am mai scris pe acest blog (vezi AICI). Formarea grupului a fost anunţată de Nelson Mandela la Johannesburg, cu ocazia sărbătoririi celei de a 89-a zile de naştere. Mandela a declarat atunci despre această iniţiativă:

The Elders can speak freely and boldly, working both publicly and behind the scenes. They will reach out to those who most need their help. They will support courage where there is fear, foster agreement where there is conflict and inspire hope where there is despair.

Continue reading “Grupul Batrinilor – doi ani de activitate”