BY EMMANUEL SHEBBS, UNICAL
No fewer than 200 students from 23 African universities, last Friday, trooped out enmasse for the candle procession held in honour of the late freedom advocate, Nelson Mandela.
The candle procession was organised by Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), South-Africa in partnership with the University of Calabar (UNICAL), Nigeria.
The demise of the late South African President, coincided with the Pan-African Universities Debate Championship as the students who were already gathered over the weekend for the debate took out sometime after the semi-final round of the competition to honour the Pan-Africanist.
One of the students, Tom Bisi from TUT, SA who spoke to Quadlife said: “We feel sad that while we were aware for a patriotic business, we lost our father. We received the news early hours of Thursday with shock. May his soul rest in peace.”
The candle procession which held in UNICAL started from the University Satellite Town Gate. The students formed a long line and held candles in their hands. The march was led by two students from TUT, who held South African flag with an inscription: “In remembrance of Madiba Mandela. Presented by Tshwane University of Technology to the University of Calabar, Nigeria”.
Some of the students held placards with inscriptions: “Adieu the freedom fighter,” “Rest in peace Madiba” etc.
The African students were chanting songs in different languages as the march went on. When the Nigerian students took over, they chanted songs like:“papa no dey o, mama no dey o, if you want to kill me, kill me make i die, i will never follow you to that station,” and the chorus went on and on.
“Nelson’s life stories have taught me that freedom is a product of sacrifice and if we must be liberated from economic bondage masterminded by the west against Africa, we must pay a sacrifice for it”, said Thosi Mbawa, a post-graduate student of TUT, SA.