Collaborators, friends and admirers of James Mancham reminisced on FB
Paul B Chow
The Seychelles when James Mancham or ton Jim, as he was commonly referred to, started his life’s journey was not just a backwater, untouched by the great events and whirlwinds of international politics of the day, it wasn’t even in the twentieth century some have said. Whilst this young man started the physical journey on a slow steamer, built to withstand strong waves on the high seas, in the journey of life one is always cast off in a tiny boat, whatever your status. For the young James Mancham the journey turned out to be more eventful than he anticipated, and the waves he encountered along the way were sometimes gigantic and appeared insurmountable, even washed him overboard. You could say, for those who love metaphors, this journey was a paragon of the celebrated Kon-Tiky expedition. Except that for young Mancham, the expedition, unlike the Kon-Tiky one, was not one to prove the theory of the migration of human beings on earth. His expedition did not set out to prove anything in particular, but along the way it gathered momentum and developed a purpose and a scope that has culminated into the young man becoming the leading politician of the Seychelles, its first President, a global entrepreneur and Seychelles Global Citizen.
On that life’s journey he dominated the political events (and our history) of the last 45 years even when he was forbidden to live there for 15 of those years. He forged the Seychellois nation that we know of today, and imbued it with the many fundamental values that his detractors have been unable to eradicate in more than 30 years of trying.
Weston Wirtz Prior to the year of the first presidential election and decolonizsation, the first presiden has a grouping of younths as to encourage other youngs for suportive measure if his polical party.Youths with influences from different districts were invovled,and we used to meet at the Maison Blanche mostly every Friday for briefings. Gilbert Servina , the best footballer then, Roland Marday , the Seychelles College best influencer, Cecile Medor a Regina Mundi Convent intellectuel and myself and others were under the guidence of Mr. Mancham then.Though still young, I came to the conclusion that he was a gentle guy always joyfull and making jokes.
I shall remember him as a non- violent and reconciliatory person and due to his attributions in these respect on his return to the country after a forceful exile, he claimed no vengeance to his perpetrators and instead tolerance and respect for them which brought acceptance of his goodwill and the adverse to many of his supporters which confusingly and wrongly interpret his motives. The man was a great guy in his own way. May Sir James rest in the eternal peace that he rightfully deserves.
There are leaders who leave behind monuments in their hope of being remembered. Jimmy Mancham leaves behind a legacy of peace, in the pursuit of National reconciliation. Blessed are the peace makers.
At every party in the 60s in London Jim would sing LaPaloma Blanca. I was only invited once to State House, that was when the famous South African heart surgeon Marius Barnard and his wife Inese were staying in my home at Machabee in 1974, to do some charity work here. Jim sang that song and Marius enjoyed that evening. Jim as President had a knack to make important visitors enjoy their stay here, because of his joie de vive.
He taught me about the power of forgiveness. I owe him a debt of gratitude.
Andre Hissen Lee
He rose above petty squabbles. Always saw the big picture.
Paul B Chow
Seychelles had it most prosperous moments under his leadership. He has been larger than life!!
Simon H Maillet
Not only did the spup violently strip him of his Presidency, they also robbed his property and James Mancham had done no harm to Albert Rene whom he had appointed as Prime Minister!
Paul B Chow
When Mancham disembarked in Seychelles on 12th April 1992 he was a homeless Seychellois- his home had been seized by his political opponents, so he had to stay in tourist hotel. A supreme irony given he came from probably at one time the richest family in Seychelles. No one came forward to offer him a place to stay yet countless who, at one time did not support him but rather his political opponent, came to ask for his help to ensure they got their property back even though he was not in power thus was not in his power to deliver.
Annette, with you and your family, a whole country mourns, the Passing of JRMM...!
Nobody could and Nobody took his Freedom away..Una Paloma Blanca..., Our Statesman of Peace and Reconciliation, despite some misgivings of some of us regarding his post- 1992 political options
But now, it's not about Politics..It's about the man..Bigger than life!. With a vision that he sadly had the utmost difficulty,t o have his beloved country, straight out of 16 years of life under a brutal regime, to fully embrace!
It was still, the path that spared our country, untold misery..of the type one sadly watches on breaking news, in certain countries with a similar history as ours!
As befits such a sudden passing, we will mourn, but also celebrate JRMM's Life and Legacy...
AS far as I'm concerned, politics aside, there have been none and there hopefully will be one to fill his shoes!
RIP Msye Mancham
Along the way, we've agreed and agreed to disagree many times. He's had his critics and his praises in equal measure. He's been greatly supported by many and also let down by many too often. And some also feel let down by him. But even from his worse critic, no-one can label him as vindictive. But he always knew that politics will judge and condemn him for what he does or not do, for what he says or not say. That is the nature of this game. He was labeled as craving power but blamed for seeking integration to UK. A contradiction in itself. But in the final analysis, Seychelles has lost a man who was perhaps well ahead of his time and perhaps too well ahead of his people. He will certainly have more joie de vivre where he now rests. Whilst I have sometimes felt impatience about him, in death I must save the good memories of the man. There were indeed many.
There is so much things to say right now there is so much things to say. I really love this song. It's very interesting to hear lots of things about Mr. James Mancham now that he had passed away. While he was still alive many view him as the bad guy even his National Reconciliation was not welcome by many people. It's good to hear that now many people think about him differently. Life is full of mystery. Rest In Peace Mr. James Richard Mancham
As for me Sir James Richard Mancham was a man of peace as the choice to share his presidency in a coalition gouverman for the shake of peace for his people. So what more a man can do for the love of his country.