Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

South Africa: Dear Tata, While You Were Sleeping...

analysis

It's Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday and his 41st day in hospital. A month ago, it seemed unlikely that Madiba would live until his birthday. But word from his daughter Zindzi is that he has made "dramatic progress" and that when she visited him on Tuesday, "he was watching television with headphones". RANJENI MUNUSAMY writes to the Father of the Nation on this special occasion.

Dear Tata,

These have been strange times. We have been having odd weather. We keep waiting for the worst of winter to arrive but it seems like it will come late this year. Out on the streets, in the mountains and valleys of our land, and outside your hospital, it has been cold. But people are there, in all these places because life and love keeps them there.

I hope it is warm where you are and the air is light to help you breathe more easily. We have been having amazing sunsets these past few days; I hope some of the sunlight touches your bed. When you became critically ill, the moon was closer to earth than usual and mesmerisingly beautiful. Well, at first it was. When were told late that night how sick you...

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