Mottley wants day for Mandela
OPPOSITION LEADER MIA MOTTLEY has called for the birthday of former South African President Nelson Mandela to be established as a Day Of Significance in Barbados and for the area of Fontabelle, St Michael, to bear his name.
In the pre-lunch session of yesterday’s sitting of the House of Assembly, Mottley also said a message should be signed by every Member of Parliament, sent to the Queen and be framed to adorn the walls of Barbados’ Parliament forever.
Describing Mandela as “one of the greatest men to have been born in the 20th century”, Mottley said she was humbled by his time and life as a leader.
She also said that, in reading his book Long Walk To Freedom nearly 20 years ago, it was clear that the late freedom fighter had learnt how to deal with conflict as a result of a fight during his boyhood.
“The lesson that he learned from then which guided him throughout his life was that you may sometimes have to engage in conflict but . . . you never so endeavour to defeat a man to the point of humiliation, because in so doing you remove the dignity that is that other person’s to hold, and you also allow the potential for that person to become obsessed, not with the things that they should face in life, but with the desire to be vengeful,” she explained.
Noting that the United Nations had declared July 18, the late freedom fighter’s birthday, as Mandela Day, Mottley suggested that Barbados also formally recognize that date, probably not within the context of a public holiday, but as a Day of National Significance.
She also said she would want to see one other example of genuine thanks to Mandela done in a tangible way that would be meaningful 50 years from now, and this would be the renaming of Fontabelle.
“I believe Fontabelle should be renamed Nelson Mandela Drive, and for a few reasons. At the top of Fontabelle lies one of the greatest physical locations in the world, Kensington Oval . . . . Below Kensington is the Cricket Legends of Barbados.
“Fontabelle is also the home to our two major daily newspapers . . . the place within which the guardians of our freedom ought to be and are captured, and then for those who came through the late ’60s and early ’70s in the Black Power movement, Fontabelle is also the location of Yoruba Yard,” Mottley explained.