Nelson Mandela’s beauty of soul,
And the power of his mind,
And his inner spirit unseen,
Shone from the Robben Island prison.
He demonstrated more clearly,
Man is not victim of circumstances,
He is the master, not the slave
And the captain of his own fate.
In prison, Mandela mastered his mind,
To rise above self-pity and hate,
And became the captain of his emotions,
And master o’er the diabolical self.
He neither became a slave,
Nor a passive mindless lunatic,
Ruled by ranging demonic rage,
Living in anger, hate and bitterness.
He fortified his mind by reading,
Books and poems most sublime,
To rise above his banal lot
And live as leader of leaders.
For he knew within his soul,
If he harboured trace of bitterness,
He would still a prisoner be,
Living the past, not really free.
Through introspection deep,
He replaced hate with love,
Revenge with forgiveness,
Pride with unfeigned humility.
He forgave his political enemies,
Even his cruel minders in prison,
And loved them unconditionally,
And made them his friends loyal.
He left the prison a brave soul,
Free both in mind and body,
A moral leader and an icon,
A celebrity with moral beauty.