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Happy 94th Birthday to Nelson Mandela
For those of us plugged in to the 1990’s news media – the mere mention of South African activist Nelson Mandela ( born 1918) brings back images of the man released from prison and was the single human catalyst for ending apartheid in South Africa. As a global advocate for human rights, he has earned rest at age ninety-four. Happy Birthday Mr. President.
Millions of South African children sang early in the morning to celebrate the life of former South African president, Nelson Mandela. Well wishes poured in from President Obama and First Lady, Michelle Obama to other notables around the globe. But according to his granddaughter, he spent a “quiet” day with family at home in the village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape.
The man fondly referred to by his clan name, Madiba, now only appears rarely in public. Mandela is most beloved for not just his 27 years in jail for leading an anti-apartheid campaign, managing his humility and positive spirit but also for becoming president in 1994 for a country that legislated racial oppression. A member of the African National Congress party beginning in the 1940s, he was a leader of both peaceful protests and armed resistance against the white minority’s oppressive regime in a racially divided South Africa.
Since his retirement from public life, a profound awareness rises among South Africans who recognize the man who literally restored morality to the morally corrupt government and what could happen as his ‘era passes.’ Since retiring from politics in 1999, he has remained a devoted champion for peace and social justice in his own nation and around the world.