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An inspiration for all time

It is here that I sit and write my journey. A walk along the passage of time in the cool breeze of the path of a man. A man that inspires me, guides our country and has stirred the world.

I can hear the song, the song of women’s and children’s voices. The sounds of laughter, of voices in all languages. I can hear the drums, the calling of all people to come and celebrate, the celebration of a time.

This time is now, 2nd November 2001.

This day marks the opening of the Centre for Reconciliation. The Centre is the pinnacle of hope and peace, a space for quiet contemplation and inner reflection. It is a place that represents the ideology of reconciliation. The philosophy of hope.

This remarkable home is a realisation of a dream, a gesture of friendship from one man to another. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming. This is a tranquil retreat, a place where friends and associates can share the message of peace and reconciliation. Honoured guests and world ambassadors are present here today and express messages of appreciation.

There is a feeling of happiness and rejoicing. It is within this space that change and inner reflection can take place. The world community will recognise what lies ahead.

Nelson Mandela’s messages and examples of reconciliation have inspired millions around the world. This, and his humanity and humility, made him one of the modern world’s greatest and most beloved leaders.

Inspired by this legacy and by his deep friendship with the former president, Douw Steyn commissioned the building of the Nelson Mandela Centre for Reconciliation on Shambala Private Game Reserve. This special retreat gave him the opportunity to work uninterrupted in peace and solitude, and would provide him with the space and tranquillity to strengthen his considerable efforts towards global and local reconciliation.

This tranquil place echoes its natural surroundings and speaks of the harmony which Mr Mandela sought in a country for which he was prepared to give his life.

Welcoming Nelson Mandela to his new private retreat

“Nelson Mandela is admired, consulted, revered, bestowed with awards and titles, and entertained by kings and queens. Yet for all this, he remains a man who lives every day by the honest philosophies of respect, humility and love for all. He is as caring and committed in the company of kings, queens and statesmen as he is with a little child on his knee.

“My Chief, may you return to Shambala again and again, always with that smile as wide as our beautiful African horizons,with that heart as warm as our bright African sun, and with your vision for our world as clear and unclouded as our endless African skies.”

Douw Steyn