I’m about a third of the way through Thabo Mbeki’s biography, The Dream Deferred, and I’m riveted!
I’m in awe of Mbeki. It’s more than how much he gave up that strikes me. He was so totally committed to his cause and worked tirelessly towards his role. He is obviously brilliant in so many ways. Everyone who knew him well, friend or foe, acknowledge his charm and intelligence. In his early twenties he was leading anti-aparteid initiatives and meeting world leaders.
There’s a sense of gravity and purpose to him that I envy. He seems to have known his destiny from early childhood, and more impressive, how to attain it. Granted, his heritage was such that he always had incredible mentors around him, but they wouldn’t have taken him on were it not for the potential they saw in him. Neither Mandela nor Tambo’s children got the kind of attention that Mbeki received because they didn’t have the qualities he had.
Why has Thabo Mbeki struck such a chord in me? I want my life to have the kind of meaning his has had. I want to help build my country and continent as he has tried to do. I want to spend time with leaders and future leaders and discuss ideas on governance, society, justice and how to make the world a better place. And I want to have a mentor.
Thabo had Oliver Tambo. What I would give for a little time and some direction from Thabo Mbeki…