By ZENTS KUNLE SOWUNMI
A reader asked the Oracle to compare Awolowo to Nelson Mandela and this is what the Oracle sent to him.
Please don’t compare Chief Awolowo to Nelson Mandela. Awolowo impacted his people in the West of Nigeria, Mandela impacted the whole world with the spirit of forgiveness, however, Awolowo’s education programs, his demand for independence for Nigeria, his jail term in Nigeria for 3-4 years, his books impacted Nigerians and the South Africans, when they came in thousands to enjoy free education when OBJ was military Head of State in the seventies , OBJ made all the workers to donate 5% of their pay towards the fight against apartheid, the best you can give your children is education, like Prof Babs Fafunwa defined education as freedom from ignorance, education was the tool Awolowo used to free the Yoruba tribe, how the best of Mandela’s legacy will be sustained by the world, by his people is what the world should pray for, Obafemi Awolowo’s impact would have matched Nelson Mandela if he had his country Nigeria behind him or if Oduduwa was a Republic, that failure put him behind Nelson Mandela who cut across whites and Blacks races, who preached love fairness and respect.
However, both of them were great sons of Africa, like Sardauna of Sokoto, Ahmadu Bello, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe , Herbert Macaulay, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, the Oracle says you can only become a hero if you finished the race with a larger audience, most heroes started as rebels, that was how Mandela did it more than Awolowo, but as a Yoruba who directly benefited from the programs of Papa Awo, I will pick Awolowo over Nelson Mandela anytime any day, as a Nigerian, I will pick all the heroes of our freedom like Herbert Macaulay who started it all in Nigeria, including Sardauna of Sokoto Ahmadu Bello, Tafawa Balewa, Akintola, even OBJ, Muritala Mohamed, and General Buhari, and Gani Fawehinmi, even Fela Anikulapo Kuti over Nelson Mandela, however, as a man with a Global view now , Nelson Mandela will be the greatest man to ever stepped on the political platform of Africa, more like Maitama Ghadi, and Chairman Mao, the best you can do as a politician is to live in the hearts of your people, both men will live in the hearts of their people, Mandela will live in hearts of billions worldwide than Awolowo in millions of the Yoruba tribe or some Nigerians that still share in his values.
Finally, when the music is over, and the mourning is gone, the tears can no longer be a factor for failure, but who you are, what you have for yourself and others , only then you learn to forgive not just everyone but yourself, and you can laugh over your mistakes and failures, you grow up and smile because you have finished the race, those are the values that put Mandela ahead of all leaders not just in Africa but worldwide. He did not attain this by himself, he had Walter Sisilu his commrade in the struggle , and his wife Winnie Mandela who carried the revolution worldwide, how she charmed the world with her beauty, her smiles, eyes and stallion height like a horse, the Oracle still believes Winnie was or is the tigress behind the success of Mandela.
May the souls of those who fought to free Africans before after colonization rest in peace from the time of Overameh of Benin, Jaja of Opobo, King Pepple of Bonny, up to Nelson Mandela who finished the race for them.