South Africa to celebrate Mandela's 94th b'day in style

South Africa will this year celebrate the birthday of the country's first black president and and Nobel laureate Nelson Mandela in great style with a birthday song sung by hundreds of people.

hidden June 08, 2012 10:38:50 IST
South Africa to celebrate Mandela's 94th b'day in style

Johannesburg: South Africa will this year celebrate the birthday of the country's first black president and and Nobel laureate Nelson Mandela in great style with a birthday song sung by hundreds of people. The anti-apartheid hero turns 94 this year.

Mandela, also known as "Madiba", was born on 18 July, 1918. The song for his birthday will be officially launched on 18 June, giving the nation a month to create the mood for celebrations.

South Africa to celebrate Mandelas 94th bday in style

Reuters

On 29 May, more than 400 people assembled at the Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton, Johannesburg to record the song for Mandela, Xinhua reported.

"This is just wonderful, giving South Africans an opportunity to come together and they will never cease to amaze you," said Anitha Soni, trustee of the board of directors for Brand South Africa, an organisation responsible for promoting South Africa.

The celebrations are being sponsored by Brand South Africa, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Proudly South Africa, in partnership with the Department of Basic Education.

Schools and communities are being urged to prepare some colourful activities for the day.

"This one is very special as Madiba turns 94, and he became the first democratically elected president of South Africa in 1994," said Proudly South Africa CEO Lesley Sedibe.

The song brought together politicians, musicians, TV personalities, sportsmen and business leaders together with ordinary citizens in the country, both South Africans and of other nationalities.

"We are celebrating a man who, when he came out of prison, brought South African together through his own humility when naysayers thought that South Africa was on the brink of collapse," said former president of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee Moss Mashishi.

Mandela was released on 11 February, 1990 and led the African National COngress to talks that ended the apartheid regime.

When elected president in 1994, Mandela did not call revenge and retribution against whites. Instead, he led a reconciliation process that amazed many African and international politicians. He campaigned for peace, unity and love among South Africans of all races and tribes.

Because of his astonishing character, the UN General Assembly in 2009 proclaimed 18 July as the annual International Mandela Day.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation said the aim of the day was "to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better and, in doing so, build a global movement for good".

Watch how Mandela's birthday was celebrated last year here.

IANS

Updated Date:

also read

South Africa vs West Indies, Highlights, 2nd T20I in Centurion: De Kock's ton powers Proteas to series-leveling win
First Cricket News

South Africa vs West Indies, Highlights, 2nd T20I in Centurion: De Kock's ton powers Proteas to series-leveling win

Follow the live scorecard and ball-by-ball commentary on the second T20I between South Africa and West Indies at the SuperSport Park in Centurion.

South Africa vs West Indies, LIVE Cricket Score, 2nd ODI in East London
First Cricket News

South Africa vs West Indies, LIVE Cricket Score, 2nd ODI in East London

Follow the live scorecard and ball-by-ball commentary on the second ODI between South Africa and West Indies at East London's Buffalo Park on our live blog.

South Africa vs West Indies: Romario Shepherd, Alzarri Joseph take Windies to series win
First Cricket News

South Africa vs West Indies: Romario Shepherd, Alzarri Joseph take Windies to series win

New West Indies T20I captain Rovman Powell said the players had responded to his call "to be fearless, to be natural – but you have to be smart too"