Day 32. Nelson Mandela reminds us of re-rooting and re-routing during lockdown

The Corona-virus pandemic has shaken the world, right down to its roots. We are currently being re-rooted and re-routed, without us even being aware of the processes at work

The question is: How do we get re-rooted and re-routed during lockdown?

What is re-rooting and re-routing?

Most people are rooted in some or other belief. It can be a universal belief system of honesty, truth, integrity, love, compassion and wisdom. This is unchangeable.

Then we have a personal belief system developed over time through our parents, religion, education, community and society at that time. This changes over time.

For example, we find this in marriages where a newlywed couple sets out with the belief that they are going to be together forever. Ten years later they file for divorce. Old dreams are shattered making way for new dreams, new beliefs and a new path they never before anticipated. They were re-rooted and re-routed.

We can expect that this lockdown time will cause many people, businesses, companies, organisations, even countries to reboot, re-root and re-route.

We will need to re-invent ourselves. The question is: How do we do this?   

Once again, we can learn from the Madiba-wisdom

Nelson Mandela and his roots

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born on 18 July 1918 at Mvezu on the banks of the Mbashe River in the district of Umtata in South Africa.[i] He was from the Madiba clan of the Thembu tribe that was later incorporated into the Xhosa nation. Today Nelson Mandela is affectionately known as Madiba – the name of his clan.

Madiba’s father, who was the principal counselor to the Acting King of the Thembu people, died when Rolihlahla was a young boy of twelve years old. Madiba became a ward of Jongintaba at the Great Place in Mqhekezweni.

Here he grew up as Thembu  royalty and was exposed to the elder’s stories of his ancestor’s valor during the wars of resistance. Madiba was rooted in his culture, their teachings, their aspirations, traditions and their belief systems. He was also rooted in his original calling.

Rooted in his calling

The name Dalibhunga, is a name Madiba was given at the age of 16 once he had undergone initiation, the traditional Xhosa rite of passage into manhood. It means “creator or founder of the council” or “convener of the dialogue”.

Nelson Mandela’s original calling was to become Counsellor to the King. To achieve this goal, he was sent for further studies after which he would have returned to the palace to fulfil his tribal calling. Things didn’t exactly turn out this way….

Over time, Nelson Mandela was re-rooted and re-routed.

Being re-rooted and re-routed

While he was in prison, he must have come to realize, that his calling and purpose were much different to what he first believed. Although his basic roots were still in his tribal culture, Madiba had to lift many of his old roots, to make way for his new calling – to liberate his people. He said:

 “There was no particular day on which I said, henceforth I will devote myself to the liberation of my people; instead, I simply found myself doing so, and could not do otherwise.” Nelson Mandela

He now became rooted in his universal calling. This took him down a whole different path, a new route, one he never could have imagined.  

Madiba also became selective where tribal laws were concerned. When he received news that the King had arranged marriages for him and his cousin, they both fled to Johannesburg. About this he said: 

“I could not go through with this marriage, which I considered unfair and ill advised‘ Nelson Mandela

There comes a time when you cannot rely on the past or your past programming anymore. You have to find a new beginning. You have to start anew. About this Madiba said the following:

 “I quickly realised that I had to make my way on the basis of my ability, not my heritage.” Nelson Mandela

Outgrowing our tribal roots

Outgrowing your tribal roots is a not that easy. Leaving old mindsets behind is difficult. Changing our path is challenging. It is however necessary in order to move forward to higher levels of attainment and new, broader levels of consciousness. If not, we will stagnate, deteriorate and devolve.

The future of humanity depends on our re-rooting, re-routing and re-inventing ourselves. Lockdown is the ideal time to consciously and mindfully, undertake this process. Each one of us are on our own personal journey. Make it count….

Re-rooting and re-routing during lockdown

During his imprisonment, Nelson Mandela became aware that things had fundamentally changed for him. He knew he had to let go of his initial plans. Although he became President of South Africa and an iconic global leader, he remarked:

“I always believed that I would be Counsellor to the King.’‘ Nelson Mandela

Once he realised he needed to pick up his old roots, he also realised that he was walking a totally new, and different path. He was being re-rooted and re-routed. On leaving prison Madiba said:

 “I could not imagine that the future I was walking toward could compare in any way to the past that I was leaving behind.”
Nelson Mandela

We too are going to walk a different path after lockdown.

Our re-rooting and re-routing during lockdown

Don’t expect things to be the same after this lockdown period. From now on, we will have experienced our BC (before Corona) and AC (after Corona) period.

The question is not how much the world has changed. The main question is: Did this lockdown period make you bitter or better? What our new roots and new path will look like, still remains to be seen. You have a choice what direction your life will take from hereon.

One day we will be able to look back – and know. Like Nelson Mandela, we will then have clarity.

“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.” Nelson Mandela

To do list

Here are a few ideas to help you on this path:

  • Will your life change for the better during lockdown?
  • How has your relationship, family, communication changed?
  • How will your finances, business, team and company have changed after lockdown?
  • What do you need to do to make your AC days the best time ever?
  • What belief system is keeping you back?
  • What will happen if you don’t make this shift?
  • What is your next step?
  • Contact us if you need any assistance
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Stay safe – stay connected

Brenda Hattingh


[i]    Mandela, Nelson, R. (1994). The long walk to freedom. The Autobiography of Nelson

             Mandela. Illustrated. London: Little, Brown & Company.            .