So today we say farewell to a legend in our Nation ...Tata Madiba.

I am so grateful to Nelson Mandela (and FW de Klerk) for helping to make me the person who I am today.

Here is why this treasured Icon will forever be in my heart ...

I was a student in standard 8 (grade 10) at high school, it was the first year that they changed all schools to what was then known as a 'Model C' school. What we now know as the 'norm' and commonly referred to as inter-racial schools.

I will be honest and say it was hard at first venturing into the 'unknown' with all the underlying tension and the 'old regime' mentality in our parents/grandparents etc. However that was the day that my personal walk to freedom started and I have never looked back.

I fondly remember a girl named ' Janine' ( shhhhhhh she's coloured ...heck who cares I thought!) with whom we were friends and shared many a lunch break, we may have lost touch, but she is always in my memories and Riyaaz ( a muslim guy) who had all the girls hormones in an uproar due to his gorgeous looks and athletic capabilities (tsk tsk unheard of back then I think about it and laugh small minded we were).

From there I moved into adulthood, my chosen career in beauty and worked locally and internationally. Embracing new nationalities, languages and differences came so easy for me and I found a true passion and desire to explore cultures in the countries I visited.

I made a point of always visiting local markets , touring the country/Island and cities I visited. Along the way came a huge and diverse friendship circle for which I am truly thankful. Never in all the time since 1994 has race , colour and/or nationality been an issue to me.

I embrace the opportunity to be able to go into townships today and just love on people , my most treasured friends are a rainbow of colours , each one treasured and precious to me.

Thank you Madiba, you will forever reside in my heart 
x x x H

Here are some of my favourite images and quotes of Madiba ....