At the weekend the world watched in sadness as Nelson Mandela was finally laid to rest in the lush green hills and valleys of Qunu, his childhood home... This time last year my sister Jacqui and I travelled there to try and discover what it was about this place that made Mandela the man he became and provided him with a framework for leadership from which he could draw forever.
It means biltong and boerewors braais, table mountain and tin-roofed townships, fears and forgiveness. It means when I was born, in the mid- 1980's into a country ravaged by states of emergency, unrest and uprising- I was a child born into uncertainty and chaos. Unknown to those at the time, it was the tail-end of Apartheid.
Solidarity with oppressed people is critical - it can make all the difference. The first time I saw Nelson Mandela was a few months after his release, in June 1990, when he came to a meeting of European charities in Strasbourg and thanked us for our support during the years of struggle. He knew the difference that support had made through those difficult times.