One Love One Heart
The true test of any great nation is not what it achieves, but how it endures. Africa is a great nation and the endurance of its people over many centuries is a testament to their capacity to survive with dignity within an all-too-often cruel and intolerant world.
For many centuries, the people of Africa experienced colonisation, enslavement, economic exploitation, apartheid, disenfranchisement, resettlement and segregation. Throughout these hardships they kept their faith in their beliefs, culture, traditions, religions and dreams.
The exodus of Africans to the four corners of the Earth has enriched the quality of their host countries. South Africa, along with the wonderful land of Jamaica, cradle of the Caribbean, remains today one of the most beautiful countries in the world where tourists continue to flock to.
Many authors have written about the life of Nelson Mandela, but I wanted to write about his dream; the dream which sustained him through almost three decades of imprisonment; a dream held by other great tribal chiefs in the Africa of old.
I envisaged this dream of being passed on like an athlete’s baton in a relay team; from one chief to the next, until it eventually ended up in the hands of Nelson Mandela, who then gave it to the world.
As I look at Africa today, I know that this dream lives on in the hearts of its proud people. We were born possessing the potential to do good or bad. We have the power to make our dreams come true, as long as we keep faith with that great Jamaican concept of ‘one Love – one heart.’
Live in hope and hope shall live in you. Give your love freely and unconditionally and you will receive love in return. When you acknowledge your areas of ignorance, wisdom is your reward. Admit your wrongs at the earliest opportunity, try to correct them and you will feel right with the world. Confront your darkest fears, and courage will be your greatest strength. Strive for tolerance, understanding and acceptance of all strangers and new neighbours, and your heart will beat in the four corners of the earth. Learn to walk in the shoes of another and you will never walk alone.
It pleases me enormously that after writing this story and getting it published in the year 2000, that I received a telephone communication from Nelson Mandela who had been given a copy of the book by ‘number 10.’ Mr Mandela had read my African story and described it as being,‘ Wonderful.’
In 2001, during a visit to Jamaica, I was approached by the Jamaican authorities with the request to write a story about Falmouth for the benefit of the 32 schools in that area. Having researched the area and secured the necessary funding from Yorkshire schools for the publication, I wrote the Jamaican story "Bucket Bill". Given their African roots and the Jamaican's love for Nelson Mandela, I decided to place both stories in an Afro-Jamaican publication entitled "One Love, One Heart".