For Comrade Kathrada
Afzal Moolla Gauteng
you stood tall. shoulder to shoulder with your oppressed compatriots bludgeoned by the jackboot of apartheid South Africa.
you stood tall. shoulder to shoulder with your fellow interned comrades on that desolate rock, Robben Island.
you stood tall. shoulder to shoulder with those who yearned for freedom, for the common decency of being treated as human beings.
you stood tall. your principles of nonracialism steadfast as your commitment to the freedom and democracy you and your comrades dedicated your entire lives to achieve.
you stood tall. in the face of the brutality of the apartheid state, as they tried to break spirits that could not be shaken.
you stood tall. for 26 long years, alongside your comrades Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Andrew Mlangeni, Denis Goldberg, Elias Motsoaledi, Raymond Mhlaba.
you stood tall. inspiring a generation to continue the struggle against apartheid tyranny, your example burned bright in the hearts of those who yearned for, and fought for, the freedom of South Africa.
you stood tall, comrade Ahmed Kathrada. you stood tall, uncle Kathy. you stood tall. and you shall stand tall. you shall stand tall. for those of us you leave behind. you shall always stand tall for those yet to come.
you shall always stand tall.
Hamba kahle! Amandla! The struggle continues!