Over 12 million school children across South Africa broke out into song on Wednesday to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s birthday. The song was a special piece, including the line “We love you father” to greet Mandela.
This was only one of the numerous celebrations by people worldwide, including the President and First Lady of the US, Barack and Michelle Obama.
"Nelson Mandela's personal story is one of unbreakable will, unwavering integrity, and abiding humility," he said, adding "On a personal note, our family has been inspired by Madiba's example, and has deeply appreciated the time we have spent with him, and his wisdom, grace and generosity of spirit," Obama said.
The acclaimed South African activist is now 94. Mandela, sometimes called by his Xhosa clan name Madiba, is most known for his active leadership in the anti-apartheid movement for which he spent 27 years in jail and finally released in 1990.
Mandela served as South Africa’s president from 1994 to 1999, after which he handed over the title to Thabo Mbeki. Mandela won in a landslide victory, one that came after south Africa’s black majority population gained the right to vote.
Mandela spent his birthday at a quiet celebration with his family in this home village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape province, according to the BBC.
According to Bua News, the South African government said, "Madiba is special to South Africa in many ways, having dedicated his entire adult life to the relentless fight for freedom, democracy, peace and stability in our country. As the first President of a democratic South Africa, Nelson Mandela immediately led the nation on a path of unity, transformation, forgiveness and reconciliation.”
Face2face Africa wishes a happy birthday to this wonderful activist who has inspired hearts and minds around the world. Madiba’s activism has paved the way for those who fight for freedom and equality.
Enjoy this short documentary on Mandela's life: