Nelson Mandela Foundation


Madiba meets with Liberian delegates at the Annual Lecture. Poet Togba-Nah Tipoteh is dressed in blue, to the left of the photo

July 12, 2008 – After the 6th Annual Nelson Mandela Lecture in Kliptown, Soweto, this afternoon, Liberian poet and politician Togba-Nah Tipoteh presented Mr Nelson Mandela with a poem he had written in his honour, entitled Mandela the Madiba. It is reproduced here.

A Poem
In honour of Madiba Nelson Mandela
On the occasion of his 90th Birthday
By Togba-Nah Tipoteh
Leader, Movement for Justice in Africa (MOJA)

Mandela the Madiba
From Soweto to Kilimanjaro
From Liberia to Algeria
From Uganda to Canada
Mandela can be found
In all places around
Upon meeting the Madiba
The Man we know as Mandela
Many impressions made
None ever to fade
One impression remained
From those years detained
His back so straight
Despite the apartheid dictate
Back bending rock breaking
Bent on dignity taking
Apartheid sought to break his back forever
Instead, Mandela broke apartheid’s back forever
Apartheid doped with the authority of brutality
Mandela robed with the authority of morality
Apartheid crushed under the ground
Mandela raised above the ground
Unto people of the world in need of moral authority
Unto people of the world in search of moral authority
Having Mandela gives the people hope
Hope for a better world without dope
Seeing Mandela gives the people hope
Hope against AIDS, the hangman’s rope
Hope for our children so innocent
Deserving to live in a world so decent
So in Divine Hope, we humbly pray
On this 90th Mandela’s Birthday
Let Mandela live on and on
Giving hope to the yet unborn

Click here to download a pdf version of the Annual Lecture address.