UISP and Mondiali Antirazzisti are in grief for Nelson Mandela’s death, to whom UISP dedicated a prize during the ’90, reproposing during the World Cup in South Africa.
The free world cries for Nelson Mandela, icon of the ‘900 for his struggle against apartheid. The 10th December there will be the national commemoration in the Johannesburg stadium. The solemn funeral will be Sunday the 15th December in Qunu, his family’s village.
UISP remembers Mandela, a man who loved sport because it reminds his ideals, freedom and equality, peace and reconciliation, liberation and solidarity, responsibility and sharing.
“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, it has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope, where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination.”.
Many official UISP meetings programmed since today till Sunday will open reading this affirmation.
“with him another piece of history is gone – said Carlo Balestri, responsible of UISP International policy – a man who is a fundamental story of the ‘900, full of ideals and obstinate will of defending his values, not refusing also the more extreme consequences. A man symbol of the struggle against apartheid, he was and will be an example also for UISP: We learn how to work in Italy about intercultural and the use of sport abroad, in the areas tortured by wars, by famines, by the negation of the rights. UISP subsumes the engagement of walking on the street designed by Mandela and doing it through sport, as an instrument of peace, dialogue and struggle against all the discriminations, starting form the economical ones”
UISP dedicated to Mandela a price in the 1990 “Nelson Mandela – Sport and Solidarity”, then during the World Cup in South Africa on 2010, made a second edition celebrated by delegation of UISP at the Museum of Apartheid Johannesburg (Northern Parkway & Gold Reef Road). The price was in cooperation with the Italian antiracist organisation Benny Nato and supported by CONI and FIGC.
Raffaella Chiodo, UISP International Policy, was one of the main active coordinator of the Italian antiapartheid campaign. This is her remember:
“Thanks Matiba father and guide for all of us.
A kind person, a kind fight. A human and political determination right and kind. There’s nothing of more true for me, for my generation and for our parents. An immeasurable strength, an delicate and modest example, but incredible strong from a political point of view. I can not imagine the defeat of apartheid without his intelligent, human and political guide. I repeat: human and political intelligence. His greatness is all here.
In the history many people has betrayed after the fights, revolutions, conquests. Not him. Mandela never. Maybe he gave his best after the liberation after 27 of prison, deep isolation, hard-labour.
He drove and build the transition phase from his liberation and the end of the interdition of the African National Congress, to the realisation of the first free and democratic elections in South Africa. A very difficult phase where it has been put the basis for the new democratic and social structure of the rainbow nation. In those years I had the possibility of following this process and the teaching is incalculable, deep and changes the forma mentis of the present and the future.
A rut which has impressed an ethical and political identity in all the action of struggle against racism, for the freedom of the people and the struggle against poverty, that after we built. An action called internationalism. A term which has an old evocation, but a sense really modern for who still believes that a different and fairer world is possible, and if the women and the men want is really possible. Very well underlined by Barak Obama, remembering what Mandela represented for him.
He taught us that is possible to defeat the relentless. That utopia is good and possible, that it comes true if the struggle is right and if it is morally and politically inflexible.
The many fights for the end of apartheid, the signature collections for his liberation, the engagement of the civil society, the associations, the parties, the trade unions, the Universities, the Municipalities and other local authorities, as the world of culture and music and in extraordinary way the world of sport, during these years have weaved a net made by women and men for the end of apartheid, for its political defeat. All of this it has been possible thanks the Mandela’shigh morality
Sport was able to do its job. Mandela gave sport a role and recognised the potentiality it can have, first during the fight and then in the difficult building of the rainbow nation. Is not a case that in his words “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, it has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope, where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination.”
UISP has done his part during the years of the fight against apartheid participating and promoting initiatives to denounces the hateful regime of the racial segregation and promoting its political and economical isolation, having an active part in the structure promoted by the Un against apartheid. The Mandela price in its first edition in Perugia in 1990 and in the last one in 2010 in Johannesburg during the World Cup, is an important evidence.
The struggle against racism and each form of discrimination we do everyday in the sport activities and in the thousands activities we do in the territories arrive to the Mondiali Antirazzisti, which involve thousands girls and boys who believe in a better world. A place where people meet together united in the idea that racism should be relegated in a Museum, not forgotten but in a continuous capability of facing it without hesitation and with bravery when it raise again. We have to read and interpret what happens in our societies, supporting process of meeting, knowledge, friendship and so it is possible the inclusion. This actions are a concrete evidence of how we could be better women and men. This actions are the more human and correct way to offer our tribute to a great man and a father who will be with us forever. The “long walk to freedom”, the one full and fair, is still in front of us and we should not forget, renewing every day.
Today in Italy the challenges are the fight for citizenship for migrant, the closure of the Structure for expulsion , the reception for who escape from poverty and war. On this side inspired by Madiba we will continue to fight till this human and inalienable right will be affirmed.