Today I just want to pay tribute to my lifelong hero and role model Tata Nelson Mandela. His death really struck a chord in my heart that was never struck before. I guess it is true what they say when they say ‘you never know what you have until it is gone’. His death has sturred up emotions in me I never knew I had, it moved me in ways I have never been moved. In all honesty I just couldn’t hold back the litres of tears that filled my eyes. I was out onboard one of the local trawl vessels when I heard the news on the vessel radio and screened on the television. That night I had a sleepless night as I was coming to terms with the loss of this great giant of our nation (South Africa).

Tata Mandela means different things to different people. To me he is the personification of hope. He is signifies the hope that we should always strive for in humanity. To me he is the man who freed the prisoner and the prison guard. I have drawn many life lessons from his life but the most significant one was to never give up.

I want to apply the lessons I observed from him to my own life but not just to my life but also to my job as a member of the Albatross Task Force. I want to continue his legacy by extending on his legacy in my own style. I want to continue his legacy of hope and never giving up fighting for seabirds. I will walk the walk for freeing seabirds.