BANGALORE, December 7: Students of African origin studying in institutions in the State are saddened by the news of the death of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela. While many hailed him as the messenger of peace, several others could not but help liken him to M.K. Gandhi, who is often compared to the former South African President.
Romeshvari Muthumanikam, who is of Indian origin but was born and brought up in South Africa, called Mandela ‘a great person.’ Pursuing her final year MBA at the University of Mysore (she came to India in 2008), she said, “He touched so many lives and not just of South Africans. It is indeed a sad day but his death did not come as a shock as he had been ailing for sometime and was 95 years old.”
Ms. Muthumanikam also said the best way to honour him was to take his teachings forward. “We should retain everything he has done and continue living in his footsteps. We owe him that much,” she added.
Rwandan national Robert Manzi, a final year Masters of Science in Information Technology student at Jain University, Bangalore, said it was a sad day for Africa. “He is one of the leaders that people should learn from. Though I am not from South Africa, there is so much to learn from him. There are so many tribal wars going on in various African countries. Mandela led the country in peace. His character was unquestionable,” he said.
Tamarakaro Gomeromo from Nigeria, who is studying third year in computer engineering at Jain University, Bangalore, recalled the shock that the news brought to many like him. “It was personally shocking as I woke up to the news on a social networking site. Mandela is an icon and we loved him because he stood for peace. He spent 27 years in prison and when he came back, he still fought for peace just like Mahatma Gandhi,” he said.
Mr. Gomeromo also said a condolence get together would be organised soon in the city for African students in remembrance of Mr. Mandela.