A digital archive documenting former South African President Nelson Mandelaâs life has been launched on the internet, writes Kiundu Waweru
Men and women all over the world right down the centuries come and go.
Some leave nothing behind not even their namesâ¦
Others do leave something behind: The haunting memory of the evil deeds they committed against other people, great violation of human rights not only limited to oppression and exploitation of ethnic minorities or vice versa, but who even resort to genocide to maintain their horrendous policies.
These are the words of the most celebrated man alive, Nelson Mandela, the first black and democratically elected president of South Africa.
The words are a gem and a rare glimpse. They are handwritten draft notes by Mandela for the first page of the first chapter of the sequel to his acclaimed autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom. Mandela penned the words on October 16, 1998.
F W de klerkâs confessions
You can also get a glimpse of the manuscript and more on the life and times of Mandela online, at archive.nelsonmandela.org courtesy of collaboration between the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory (NMCM) and the Google Cultural Institute.
The Nelson Mandela Digital Archive Project was launched on Tuesday, last week, in South Africa, and it is now live on the web. Apart from the manuscript, the archives will transport you to Mandelaâs early life, prison years, and the presidential years to his current status. It bears images, documents and photos.
Of note is My Moments With a Legend, an archive of photographs and video of people who came into contact with Mandela. The video starts with F W de Klerk, the last president of apartheid era South Africa commenting about a picture that shows a lean, smiling Mandela leaning on an equally jovial F W de Klerk. Klerk says the picture was taken on May 10, 2004, in the South African Parliament on the tenth anniversary of the day since the inauguration of Mandela as president.
Klerk adds that Mandela walked with difficulty and he leaned on him heavily. They walked together amid the applause of parliamentarians from all parties. He notes that this was a special moment for him as it was a symbol of how reconciliation can manifest itself.
Celebrity among ordinary