Mandela Gold

Updated on February 19, 2018
Rare Mandela Gold Strelitzia
Rare Mandela Gold Strelitzia | Source
A double Mandela Gold in contrast to the two normal Strelitzias.
A double Mandela Gold in contrast to the two normal Strelitzias. | Source

Story of a legend

Now in celebrating Nelson Mandela's 100 year celebration it is a good time to review his life as Cyril Ramaphosa takes over as president. Mandela had earmarked him as his successor. Would that have made a great difference to the last 20 years of South African history?

Not many people have flowers named after them. In South Africa Chris Barnard the surgeon who performed the first heart transplant has a rose named after him.We were thrilled to hear that Nelson Mandela, or "Madiba", as he is affectionately known as in South Africa has had a rare species of Strelitzia named after him, the Strelitzia Gold. We are fortunate to have one blooming in our garden.

We traveled past Nelson Mandela’s house near Mtatata in the Transkei yesterday on our way to Swaziland. The house lies next to the main road near Mmtata in the tribal area where Nelson Mandela grew up as a part of the tribal royalty. He has another house in Johannesburg where he spends a lot of time when needed in that part of the country. The Mandelas were not at home as the security personnel were not present and the South African flag was not flying.

Many years ago when Nelson was just a little boy helping to herd the sheep in their village his father lost his position as one of the leaders in that area when he refused to cow tow to the local Magistrate; He was then removed from his position, simply with a stroke of a pen! This resulted in the Mandela family losing both their tribal privileges and position, and also a government salary.

The previous evening we had watched on television as a very frail Mr. Mandela, with his family around him, was presented with the torch to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the ANC. This took place in his house in Houghton, Johannesburg. The house in the Transkei is presently being revamped for Mr. Mandela, who will then be spending most of his time there.

As South Africans we have been privileged to experience the influence that this great man has had on South African history. We saw the release of Mandela from prison and his famous speech in Cape Town. With great emotion we joined in the long lines to vote in the first democratic elections in 1994. With pride we watched as he, together with Francious Pienaar the Sprinbok rugby captain, held up the World Rugby Cup in 1995 (This event was dramatized in the movie “Invictus” where Mr. Mandela was portrayed by Morgan Freedman).

Now we see him as an old man, with his loving family gathered around him, in perhaps his last days. We salute you Nelson Mandela and it is fitting that this rare specimen of the Strelitzia flower that grows so well in this area, has been named after you. The “Mandela Gold” is a beautiful flower, but also tough and resilient, just like you!

Postscript: Time passes on and it is sad to hear about the battles in the Mandela family about their inheritance now that he has passed on. How greed and jealousy brings out the worst in us humans. The country is also battling as poverty and corruption continues to hurt. The recent wave of Xenophobia has been an opportunity for the criminal community to plunder the many hard working immigrants from countries in the north who some to South Africa to flee the poverty in their own countries. The funeral of Nelson Mandela here in the Eastern Cape led to the theft of money by local officials who used the opportunity to steal large amounts of money allocated for that event. Fortunately they are now facing prosecution for misappropriation of millions of rand.

One has to wonder how he would feel about all this fighting, corruption and bitterness. The Xhosa people who have such a strong belief in the spirits of their fore fathers must also wonder.

The Mandela Gold Strelitzia in our garden is showing signs of hardship as winter beckons. As summer comes I am sure the flowers will bloom again. We as South Africans wait for the Summer for our country that Mandiba dreamed about and lived to achieve, but never really saw materialize. Perhaps it is also just around the corner and if we work hard the Mandela magic will also work again as it did in the past in 1994. Meanwhile I will do some work in our garden and also keep working in society to make this a better place for all.

Perhaps there is a pot of gold at the foot of the rainbow. After all South Africa is know as the "Rainbow Nation". Madiba would approve if that came true.

Questions & Answers


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • Johan Smulders profile image

        Johan Smulders 3 years ago from East London, South Africa

        Thanks Anne-God Bless

      • Johan Smulders profile image

        Johan Smulders 3 years ago from East London, South Africa

        Thanks Anne-God Bless

      • profile image

        Anne 3 years ago

        Beautiful flower for Madiba well written Johan and I pray for our beloved Rainbow Nation in these troubled times

      • Johan Smulders profile image

        Johan Smulders 5 years ago from East London, South Africa

        Thanks Gill.

      • Gill Harris profile image

        Gill Harris 5 years ago from South Africa

        I think it is a great photo, by the way!

      • WillStarr profile image

        WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

        Excellent work, Johan!

      • aviannovice profile image

        Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

        What a wonder thing that is being done! Voted awesome.

      • Johan Smulders profile image

        Johan Smulders 5 years ago from East London, South Africa

        Interesting, taken in our garden but took a better one today at Southdowns. Thanks for the comment

      • Gill Harris profile image

        Gill Harris 5 years ago from South Africa

        Is this taken in Natal? Beautiful flower - beautiful man. I think the strelitzia is called 'bird of paradise'in the Northern hemishpere.

      • Johan Smulders profile image

        Johan Smulders 5 years ago from East London, South Africa

        Yes a strange flower and not a great photo. Thanks for the comment

      • unknown spy profile image

        IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

        Mandela Gold.. is that the flower above? kind of strange but beautiful..

        I salute you too Mr. Mandela.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)