Nearly 12 million children across South Africa kicked off celebrations yesterday for the 94th birthday of Nelson Mandela, the country’s deeply loved anti-apartheid icon, with resounding choruses of Happy Birthday.
Mandela is expected to spend the day privately with his family at their homestead in his southeastern birth village of Qunu. Meanwhile, communities in South Africa and around the world were dedicating 67 minutes of the day to volunteer work and projects for the needy — one minute to mark each of Mandela’s 67 years in public service.
Tributes to Mandela poured in early Wednesday, with US President Barack Obama saying Mandela “has changed the arc of history, transforming his country, the continent and the world.”
Sir Alex Ferguson, manager of Manchester United football team sang Happy Birthday over a cake iced with the image of the team’s yellow and red badge. Meanwhile, former US President Bill Clinton got the celebrations off to an early start. He and daughter Chelsea met with Mandela in Qunu.
Madiba gift 2 yrs in the making
It has taken him two years to put together Nelson Mandela’s birthday present. And now artist, Cui Ning, is ready to unveil his huge oil painting. Measuring 6 by 2.4 metres, the painting traces the history of Mandela’s life