I Saved Mandela Last Night

Like a king upon his throne,
he sat bored out of his mind. One after another.
Each celebrity and person of importance
went up,
his praises.

Then. I,
went up.
Unrecognizable to the room.
A foreigner to pretense.
Just the man on the street.
A woman I am but
a man as there were
no frills or fragrance or flowers flowing through me.
I might as well have been dressed in sack clothing.
I grabbed that mike.
His heart cheered
and Mandela sat up.

Mischief on his smile, he teased
Was it because I
dared believe
me great enough to address him in the midst of these as I was?
I the man on the street woke him up with my presence
In my sack clothing
more than great,
The famous
as common people ,
’till those beautiful daughters
ushered him away
when he wanted to stay longer and tease
I woke up.
Liberated from chains that constrain me.

I wake up.

Realising my own light
is as powerful as I will dare
shine it.
as my light saved him
from self-absorbed celebrities
who were showing off that even they
had spoken to Mandela.

© Siki Dlanga
July 2009

I Saved Mandela Last Night


CAPE TOWN, South Africa

  • Artist
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Artist's Description

On 11 February 2010, Mandela and South Africans celebrate the 20th year Mandela was freed from prison.

This poem gives me such a good feeling as I revisit the dream and the moment that felt so real in my dream and the man that God has blessed us with in South Africa. We are truly thankful to God for Madiba.

Artwork Comments

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