Human Rights lawyer Felix Agbor Balla Nkongho has won the Nelson Mandela Memorial Award for peace organized in honour of the late South African leader.
He received the award yesterday in Yaounde during a ceremony organised by the Denis and Lenora Foundation to celebrate the Nelson Mandela Day on the eve of his 100 birthday.
“I am very excited, I feel very elated. I think for a long time this is the first prize I have won and I am hoping and praying that this is the beginning of things to come,” Agbor Balla said.
On a day the Denis and Lenora Foundation brought together experts to discuss the legacy left behind by Nelson Mandela and how Cameroon could benefit from in order to solve the various crisis in the country, Agbor Balla was a worthy recipient of the award.
“An award like this is something I really take serious and I want to thank the organisers(the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation) for organising this as well as all those who voted for me.”
The Human Rights lawyer spent eight months in jail in 2017 fro protesting against injustice but says he holds no grudges and is open to forgiveness like Nelson Mandela who embraced all after spending 27 years in jail for standing up against apartheid
” I want to be remembered like somebody who fought for people, who fought against injustice. (The Nelson Mandela legacy) is that of peace, love, reconciliation, a legacy of shunning violence and a society built on fairness,” he said.
“So the life of Madiba(Nelson Mandela) should be taken into consideration by Cameroonians especially the phase we are going through.”
The UN General Assembly declared the 18 July as “Nelson Mandela International Day” in honor of Nelson Mandela’s contribution to peace and human rights. Following that declaration, the UN joins the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s call for people worldwide to spend 67 minutes every July 18 to acknowledge and celebrate Mandela’s contribution and dedication to peace and human rights.
It is in that light that the Nkafu Policy Institute, think tank at the Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation organized Tuesday’s event to commemorate the Nelson Mandela International Day.