(Winnie Madikizela Mandela and Graca Machel) Funeral service of the Late Former President Nelson Mandela 15/12/2013, Elmond Jiyane, GCIS

Johannesburg - If someone, somehow, can get this message to our girls in Nigeria, even if is just the wind whispering to them, we want them to know that we love them and we care for them.

Their plight has touched millions of hearts in Africa and beyond.

We send them waves of love and comfort, to warm their hearts and dry their tears.

We pray for them and look forward to the day when they will embrace their parents and families at home.

We send them waves of energy to keep their inner selves strong and resilient.

When the dark night in the forest is overwhelming, they must lift their eyes to the sky. The stars are watching over them.

They must not lose hope and they must not succumb to fear and despair, even in the most adverse of circumstances they find themselves in.We love them always.

To the parents of our girls in Nigeria,

I am a parent and so I stand among you holding your hands, in pain and anguish; in solidarity.

There are millions of parents in Africa and beyond, who genuinely feel that your girls are our girls.

We want them safe and back in the loving and caring space of their families.

We demand alongside you, the parents, that the Nigerian government do everything in its power to locate all the girls, make sure they are safe, and bring them back home.

All of them.

It is the government’s first and foremost responsibility to protect its citizens, and keep them safe.

If the world can mobilise all the means possible to search for a plane carrying 239 passengers, certainly it can also mobilise the means to find our girls.

They deserve nothing less.

We want to see the same resolve, commitment and focus from the Nigerian government, African governments and, of course, those governments which have the capacity and resources to save our girls.

We stand among you. We hold your hands.

In solidarity.

PS: I decided to break the restrictions of my mourning because silence is not an option. I know, however, that Madiba will understand and approve. - Sunday Independent