Nelson Mandela's funeral in South Africa
The Jamaica Observer Newspaper writes, "Jamaica was the first country in the western hemisphere and second in the world to India which officially banned trade and travel with the fascist apartheid Government which practised a brutal form of racism in South Africa."
Military fly over in tribute to Mandela at his funeral
My aunt, Professor Lorna Goodison, an award winning writer, who is one of the most famous poets in the world, was chosen to write a poem for the Mandelas, which she read to them at an official ceremony. She titled it "Bedspread" in tribute of the Mandelas love during the time of his unjust incarceration (see poem below).
Former Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley, former South African President Nelson Mandela and then wife Winnie Mandela in 1991
"Bedspread" by Lorna Goodison
Sometimes in the still
when the memories crowded
hot and hopeless against
she would seek its cool colors
and signal him to lie down
in his cell.
It is three in the afternoon Nelson
let us rest here together
upon this bank draped in freedom
It was woven by women with slender
accustomed to binding wounds,
hands that closed the eyes of
that fought for the right to
speak in their own tongues
in their own land
in their own schools.
They wove the bedspread
and knotted notes of hope
in each strand
and selvaged the edges with
older than any white man's coming.
So in the afternoons lying on this
bright bank of blessing
Nelson my husband I meet you in dreams
my beloved much of the world too is
asleep blind to the tyranny and evil
devouring our people.
But, Mandela, you are rock on this sand
harder than any metal
mined in the bowels of this land
you are purer than any
gold tempered by fire
shall we lie here wrapped
in the colors of our free Azania?
They arrested the bedspread.
They and their friends are working
to arrest the dreams in our heads
and the women, accustomed to closing
the eyes of the dead
are weaving cloths still brighter
to drape us in glory in a Free Azania.