Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Nelson Mandela 'led by example': We Day's Kielburger

  • Print
Marc Kielburger, co-founder of Free the Children, speaks at the Free Press News Cafe prior to the 2012 We Day event.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVES Enlarge Image

Marc Kielburger, co-founder of Free the Children, speaks at the Free Press News Cafe prior to the 2012 We Day event. Photo Store

Free the Children and We Day co-founder Marc Kielburger was at a conference at Oxford University when he suddenly found himself alone with Nelson Mandela.

"We just chatted — it was surreal," Kielburger said Thursday evening from Toronto. "I had a chance for a private moment with him, and asked a question: How did you do it?"

As in: How did Mandela survive all those years in prison and become South Africa’s first black president without hatred or retribution?

"He said, ‘I led my sheep from behind,’ " said Kielburger. "He talked about being a shepherd. It wasn’t about him, it was about the larger issues — he wasn’t trying to be out front, to be a symbol."

But by living the way he did, Mandela became a symbol, said Kielburger.

"This is a very profound evening. This is the night he’s passing on the baton," Kielburger said. "This is a very important day for our generation."

Kielburger was in South Africa the day in 1995 when Mandela spoke before the final match of the rugby World Cup, won by South Africa after Mandela had brought the country together behind a national team dominated by whites.

"It was electric," he said.

Kielburger said while the high school students who attend We Day in Winnipeg and elsewhere were not alive during, or old enough to remember, most of the significant events of Mandela’s life, they know him, as they know Martin Luther King.

"He’s one of those iconic figures. It doesn’t matter if you’re nine or 92, everyone knows how important he was," Kielburger said. "There’s so few people in the world who fall into that category.

"They know he was a fundamentally good person. They will look to him as someone who led by example."

nick.martin@freepress.mb.ca

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Family of Matias De Antonio speaks outside Law Courts

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • May 22, 2012 - 120522  - Westminster United Church photographed Tuesday May 22, 2012 .  John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What are you most looking forward to this Easter weekend?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google