Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela Remembered by Marc Kielburger

My name is Marc Kielburger, co-founder of WE Movement. Myself and my brother Craig and our entire members of the WE Movement team and family would like to add to the words of sorrow and loss felt by the world community as we come together to remember Nelson Mandela. Mr. Mandela’s legacy is one of peace, social justice, and a more just and humane world for all of us.
I remember I once had an opportunity to have a quiet moment with him. We were at Oxford University, celebrating the launch of the Mandela Rhodes Scholarship and I asked him a question. I said, “Mr. Mandela, how did you do it? Spending all of those years in Robin Island, all of those years in solitary confinement? All of those years where of course hope, and despair would have been all of our answers.” And he looked and he said, “For me it was easy…Because I deeply believed in what I did.” Then he said quote, “I led my sheep from behind.” And it’s that spirit and that legacy that allows us all to have a chance today to celebrate what this man stood for, what he deeply believed in, and how he set an example for all of us.

WE Movement deeply believes in the spirit and the power of education that changes the world and Mr. Mandela certainly was one of the world’s greatest teachers. And it’s that spirit, that spirit of possibility and the spirit of education. He once said, “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” This is our year of education.

We’re building schools throughout Africa, we’re engaging young people to really understand what it’s like when we can use that tool, the power of education, to make the world more idealistic, more just, and to be able to be like Mr. Mandela himself – a dreamer. And even though today, as a human race we come together to mourn the loss of one of our greatest leaders and one of our greatest inspirations – to all the young people especially watching today, this is our opportunity. Our opportunity to take that baton and set an example to learn, and to lead, and to have the opportunity to truly leave the greatest gift one can do to honor Mr. Mandela, and to truly lead our sheep from behind. To inspire and to be inspired. To be engaged and to engage others in the legacy, and the values, and what he stood for. For us truly to be the change. This is now our time. This is now our opportunity. And this is what he would want for our world.

This transcription is based on