By: Manuele Mizzi
As spring roles in, a time of new beginnings, we are reminded of those in the world who have paved the way for us. Sharing the stage with all ethnicities and working on the arts from every racial pathway is a freedom not all have. In two weeks, the Spirit of Mandela week will be celebrated in various ways, in many schools throughout the world. While researching this great man, I came across many interesting quotes about his thoughts on freedom and the future of the world. His great knowledge spanned from times in South Africa when apartheid was rampant and people who didn’t look alike couldn’t collaborate with each other on any level. Black people didn’t have rights and white people had control over most decisions being made. Mandela spent 27 years in jail stemming from being an activist and trying to bring about change because he was under the impression that, as should be world-wide, all humans should be equal. He said, “We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.” Why should a child be unable to share in all of the wonders that our world has to offer just because they don’t look like their neighbour.
I think of all the abilities I have as a musician to work with those who understand all the musics and theatre from other plains – African, Asian, South American, etc. I wonder what my life would be like if I only knew or was familiar with the arts from a European standpoint and would I be able to grow ever? Learning about different backgrounds and the paths which the people in ours and our neighbours pasts makes us the rich artistic beings we are today.
After my research I read through a couple of quotes with the students in one my drama classes at school. We talked about each and every quote and their significance to the world which Mandela knew and the world in which we know here in Canada. The students pondered about what freedom means and were even brought back to their studies on the slaves. One student came up to me as he was leaving the class and looked me straight in the eye and said, “That was the most interesting drama class”.
…”And out of the mouth of babes”. Thank you for your dreams and hopes for the future Mr. Mandela. I hope that these children and many more understand the message of hope and spread it like wild-fire.
For more information please visit: http://mandela-children.ca/en/