During my dream come true, awe inspiring visit to Robben Island in South Africa in the February of 2020, where Neslon Mandela was imprisoned for 18 of the 27 years, I realised that the soul is uncrushed, when the will-power of human is strong.
While spending his days in Robben Island Prison, ‘Madiba’ used to recite a poem by the 18th century English poet, William Ernest Henley. This poem inspired him and other prison mates to stay put and keep going through the hard times. This poem has been a collection of words that I personally have cherished all my life.
The poem is titled ‘Invictus’, which in Latin mean Unconquered. In my view, there cannot be a more apt word to describe Nelson Mandela than THE INVICTUS – The Unconquered.
I believe the greatest tribute that we can extend towards great Nelson Mandela is by living our lives with the examples set by him and an untiring trial of imbibing his great qualities within ourselves.
Today during this period where we are in our own created prisons of sorts, this poem bring great strength to me.
With all humility and great respect, I share the poem that inspired this great soul and hope it will keep inspiring millions across the generations. May the soul of Nelson Mandela rest in eternal peace.
By William Ernest Henley – 1849-1903
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
Please share what this poem ignites within you….
Take care of yourselves and each other.