In his lifetime, Nelson Mandela achieved almost mystical stature as the liberation hero turned national reconciler who helped transform South Africa from repressive white rule to a vibrant all-race democracy.
But as Los Angeles Times correspondent Robyn Dixon writes, Mandela was never comfortable wearing the mantle of a saint. He could be irritable, stubborn, aloof and was known to flirt with any pretty young woman he met.
The renowned peacemaker also embraced armed struggle to end the racist system of apartheid, persuading the leaders of the African National Congress to abandon their longstanding policy of nonviolence and form a secret military wing.
As the world tries to understand Mandela’s legacy, we asked followers on Twitter to share their thoughts and memories of a man who was both a great leader and profoundly human.
Keep sending your tweets to @latimesworld or use the comments section below.
[View the story "Remembering Nelson Mandela" on Storify]Remembering Nelson MandelaWe asked Twitter followers to share memories of Nelson Mandela. Here are a few reader responses.
Storified by Los Angeles Times· Fri, Dec 06 2013 15:25:34
Nelson Mandela said he wasn't a saint. We want to know what you think. Share your memories by tweeting @latimesworld http://t.co/m6aVySvUmSL.A. Times World@latimesworld As a South African he was an inspiration & example of a great leader.He had a vision for our country.He will be missed.Corne van Zyl@latimesworld @latimes I was 11 when he was freed from prison. #millennials have a hard time coping. http://t.co/3HGTdpIP7FL.A. Girl at Work@latimesworld @latimes for me Mandela was a human being like anyone else should be. His patience when he was in prison and later is great!Göran Nitsche@latimesworld @latimes Mandela said he wasn't a prophet but rather a servant of people.Kids Dentist@latimesworld @latimes like most people w/good hearts&courage- 1 doesn't seek the approval or attention. 1sees the should b certainty!Hlpng SandyHook Heal@latimesworld He was a real inspiring person, bless his soul.AymanAn @latimes correspondent shares his memories of Nelson Mandela. http://t.co/GNEFDTE6Zj Tell us how you remember him. Tweet @latimesworldL.A. Times World@latimesworld @latimes You physically felt his presence, his aura when he was in the room. It was tangible. Magnetic. Awe-inspiring.BusinessLaw-bc.com@latimesworld @latimes Mandela (and Gandhi) remind us that a clear sense of justice is not only morally right; it's human.BusinessLaw-bc.com@latimesworld : Nelson Mandela was more than a saint . He recognized the essential equality in all mankind irrespective of ethnicity.Anilrai Sangham
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