Item 2232 - Poems in honour of Nelson Mandela titled "Madiba" and "Madiba's Shirt" by Brigadier General Dele Arogundade, 2022-07-17

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ZA COM MR-T-7-6-2232


Poems in honour of Nelson Mandela titled "Madiba" and "Madiba's Shirt" by Brigadier General Dele Arogundade, 2022-07-17


  • 2022-07-17 (Creation)

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Literature dedicated to Mandela

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Arogundade, Dele (Brigadier General) is a colonel in the Nigerian Army, and he's also a poet, writer and life coach. His recent collection of poetry, titled 'Perceptions Unabridged' is a smash hit, featured across the media.

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Email received from Brigadier General Dele Arogundade

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Poems in honour of Nelson Mandela titled "Madiba and Madiba's Shirt" by Brigadier General Dele Arogundade.

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many names of a rare colossus.

reconciler; tenacious;
dogged; rugged;
courageous; compassionate;
leader; humane;
visionary; comrade;
humble; patient;
inspirational; negotiator;
statesman; prisoner;

knowledge enthusiast;
exceptionally humble;
incurable believer;
man of integrity;
highly principled;
fiercely focused;
positive thinker;
valiant man;
conqueror of apartheid;
forgiver without fear;
apostle of peace;
Nobel laureate;
great unifier;
creator of a better society.


Gifted with a shirt,
by a friend,
of the Asian stock.

Could not don
this shirt of many colours
for 27 long years.

After the sojourn
in Robben Island,
sequel to his Long walk to Freedom,
he desired total liberty.

Chose to challenge
the status quo
as an incurable non-conformist
to re-define
his total independence,
reinforcing his mantra.
Image is everything.

Image of hope;
signature of complete freedom;
freedom from the shackles of apartheid;
symbol of friendly regime change
from strict formality to greater acceptance.

As fate will have it,
prior to his presidential inauguration,
Desre gifted Madiba
a free-flowing,
loose-fitting, and informal
silky, yet flowery, shirt,
similar to Suharto’s gift
in the days of yore.

It sparked a fire,
lighted hope
devoid of the dullness
that pervaded
his prison clothes.

Madiba’s shirt,
the Mandela brand,
diverse colours: same scheme
worn with pride
daily and always,
a fashion statement
that spoke in silence.
The language of self-constitution;
signature of true emancipation.

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Description prepared by Myeka, Zandile on 2022-07-19




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