Dear World

Please leave Madiba alone. Yes, everybody loves him. Yes, everybody is terrified of losing him. Yes, the idea of Mandela, one of the world’s greatest heroes, not being around is unthinkable, but it’s not fair, or kind or respectful anymore.

To those friends and family clamouring to get a last look at him, please think about whether you are doing it for him or for you. For the politicians and members of the ANC who are still trying to get an endorsement, ask for forgiveness, or are even hoping to have some of that special magic rub off, you are too late. That Mandela has left the building. This one is a tired, sick (if not good humoured) old man. Let him rest.

To the paparazzi: Give it up. For once do the right thing and stop hanging around so that you can be the first to deliver news that nobody wants to hear. Piss off. To all media, stop repeating a litany of non-news supported by pictures of gates, or doors, or cars.

To everyone else; remember the man for what he did, not what he has become, and allow that image to make you do good, be better and strive for what you believe in. He can’t do it for you. Yes, send him love and good wishes, but not in the hope that he will live longer for us, but that he will do what is most needed on his journey. Honour him by remembering what he stood for , fought for, lived for and achieved.

Please, leave our hero Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela in peace.