by Cato Rand
The Death of Nelson Mandela
We should celebrate the life of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela rather than mourn his passing at age 95 on December 5th, 2013. Madiba, as he is affectionately called, spent some 27 years (1962 – 1990) in prison – potentially the most productive years of his life – and when he rose to power, having been elected President of South Africa in 1994, he did not seek vengeance upon the white minority who had imprisoned him. Instead Mandela fostered reconciliation. That for me is his most significant contribution to life in post-apartheid South Africa.
I do hope that the black leadership that will most certainly govern the country from now into the foreseeable future strives to expand economic, political and social freedoms and thus ensure that each South African – black , white or coloured – has the opportunity to fulfill his/her dreams. I think this would be the best way to honor the life of this man- arguably the most universally beloved person in recent times.
Let us hope that South Africa future leaders do not go the way of Robert Mugabeʼs and his tyrannical rule of vengeance in Zimbabwe.
I saw Mr Mandela in the early 1990ʼs when he visited another Caribbean island on which I was residing at the time and I recall the joy I I felt while walking to see him. Pity the same has never applied to any of our local politicians.
The ‘Little Master’ Retires
I note the retirement of master batsman Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar who at the age of 40, called it a day, after a illustrious career that spanned 24 years and a multitude of endless records. The most centuries in tests – 51 hundreds and ODIs – 49 hundreds. Not surprisingly he also has the most runs in Tests (close to 16,000 runs) and ODIs (over 18,000) and the most matches played in either format. The superlative descriptions of his style of play, his demi-god-like status in India and his achievements are perhaps unparalleled in any sport.
The debate will rage on for years if not indefinitely among cricket enthusiasts as to who was better in the 1990s-2000s – Tendulkar or our own Brian Lara. I give the edge to Tendulkar, and only just, as I consider him to be a little more elegant in his strokeplay. Both players are right up there in the pantheons of batting maestros.
It is widely thought that Tendulkarʼs next move will be into politics and for the millions of poor people who now inhabit India (according to The Economist magazine half of all Indians are obliged to defecate in the open). I hope his sojourn in politics trumps the success he had on the cricket field.
Tessanne Chin wins ʻThe Voiceʼ
Congratulations to Tessanne Chin on winning the American reality television singing competition ʻThe Voiceʼ. I have long considered Tessanne to be a very good singer and it is interesting to now hear local radio disc jockeys playing her songs and singing her praises. Where were they all along?
Lets hope we donʼt hear much more about the impact Tessaneʼs triumph will have on ʻBrand Jamaicaʻ and how her winning can lead to our economy sprouting wings and taking off like the mythical Pegasus. If the local economy could not have sprouted wings following the Reggae Boyz qualifying for World Cup 1998, the earth shattering triumphs of Bolt & co., and the exploits of the myriad of artistes who have been crisscrossing the globe for decades bringing the joy of our music to millions, I cannot see how Tessanne’s winning in a singing competition will do so.
The unity and euphoria among Jamaicans here and abroad that Tessanneʼs journey has engendered I think primarily stems from the fact that us Jamaicans are suckers for competition (what else explains the staying power of Sting ) and supremacy – especially if it will allow us to exercise the reflexive anti-Americanism (or better yet, beating Americans) that so animates many of us. I am almost certain that Jamaicans would not be so into ʻThe Voiceʼ if Tessanne were singing just as well if not better in a regionally based competition.
Dane Nelson – champion jockey for 2013
I am big into horse racing and kudos are due to Dane Nelson for winning the 2013 Jockeyʼs Championship. This did not seem possible for most of the local racing season with Nelson some 20 winners adrift of long time leader and former 4- time champion jockey, Omar Walker as late into the season, as September. Nelson, is to be particularly lauded as he no longer has first call on the live mounts coming out of the stable of now 13 -time champion trainer Wayne DaCosta. It should be interesting to see if Nelson is able to successfully defend his title what with former champion Dick Cardenas now appearing to be the stable jockey in DaCostaʼs barn.
Thanks for 2013
Right From Yaad takes this opportunity to thank readers for their continued support and welcoming young Lipton Matthews into the fold of regular writers. All the best for 2014.
By the way, if anyone is wondering what has become of former standout 1980’s sprinter from lmmaculate Conception High School – Camille Coates, she is now Dr. Camille Coates-Clark, an orthopedic surgeon in Florida.
Cato Rand is a Black Jamaican of Libertarian and Conservative persuasion. He is a fervent believer in Capitalism, Freedom and the principles outlined by the US Constitution and it being applicable to all peoples, including Jamaicans. He is a strong advocate for the limited role that a government should play in the lives of people.