Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Mandela Memorial Service: Giant of history honoured as World leaders and South African's gather to celebrate global Icon and Africa's own son and father figure.


The Official Memorial Service For Nelson Mandela Is Held In Johannesburg

Obama: 'Thank You For Sharing Mandela With Us'

World leaders from around 90 countries, along with tens of thousands of South Africans, are paying their tributes to Nelson Mandela, iconic former South African president, at a memorial service in Johannesburg, recalling his contributions for reconciliation across political and racial divides.
"In his lifetime, Madiba mingled with kings, queens and presidents, prime ministers, captains of industry and ordinary workers.
"At the core of his being was a man of the people, a simple man and one who knew that no matter how great the accolades he attained in life, what he was in life - a son of Africa." 

The Official Memorial Service For Nelson Mandela Is Held In Johannesburg
Mr Mandela's widow and second wife embraced before the memorial began

Three of Mr Mandela's grandchildren took the stage together to deliver their own tribute, telling the crowd, "a great tree has fallen... shall we walk in his footsteps?"
US President Barack Obama has paid tribute to Nelson Mandela as "the last great liberator of the 20th century" at a memorial service in Johannesburg.
He told a jubilant and emotional crowd in Soweto's FNB Stadium: "To the people of South Africa - people of every race and walk of life - the world thanks you for sharing Nelson Mandela with us. 
"His struggle was your struggle. His triumph was your triumph. Your dignity and hope found expression in his life, and your freedom, your democracy is his cherished legacy."
Comparing Mr Mandela to Gandhi and Martin Luther King, the President said: "Born during World War I, far from the corridors of power, a boy raised herding cattle and tutored by elders of his Thembu tribe - Madiba would emerge as the last great liberator of the 20th century."
Mr Obama told how he had been inspired by Mr Mandela's story and the struggle against apartheid as a student.
He said: "It stirred something in me. It woke me up to my responsibilities - to others, and to myself - and set me on an improbable journey that finds me here today.
"And while I will always fall short of Madiba’s example, he makes me want to be better. He speaks to what is best inside us."  
"There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba's (Mandela's clan) struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people," he said, stabbing his finger in the air.
"Nothing he achieved was inevitable. In the arc of his life, we see a man who earned his place in history through struggle and shrewdness, persistence and faith.”
Obama, speaking at a memorial in Johannesburg for Mandela, made the comment in front of an audience of leaders that included Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao, Cuban President Raul Castro and Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe.
Madiba in his lifetime and in death continues to bridge the gap and bring people together, teaching us to care, respect, reach out and forgive!

The Official Memorial Service For Nelson Mandela Is Held In Johannesburg

Obama and Castro, whose nations have been foes for more than half a century, are among the designated speakers at the stadium where 23 years earlier Mandela, newly freed from apartheid jail, was hailed by supporters as the hope of a new South Africa. 

Obama said Nelson Mandela had taught the world the power of action and the power of ideas, and that it had taken a man like Mr Mandela to free not only the prisoner but also the jailer.
Mr Obama said: "We will never see the likes of Nelson Mandela again. While I will always fall short of Madiba (Mr Mandela's clan name), he makes me want to be a better man."
On his way to the podium, President Obama shook hands with Cuban President Raul Castro, an unprecedented gesture between the leaders of two nations that have been at loggerheads for more than half a century.
Afghan president Hamid Karzai, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Indian President Pranab Mukherjee were amongst the many to arrive. 
Former South African president FW de Klerk said, Mandela would be proud to see this:
"We're all sad, but it had to come and it's wonderful how the nation is coming together. I think it would make Madiba very happy to see how
everybody is holding hands and celebrating his life."
The memorial event started at 1100 (0900 GMT). Tribute has continued to pour in to a life of imprisonment and political struggle that ended in triumph and consecrated Mandela as a global symbol of integrity and forgiveness.
"It took a man like Madiba to free not just the prisoner but the jailer," US President Barack Obama said, to a standing ovation. He said Nelson Mandela embodied the spirit of "uBuntu", which means "I am because you are".
Thousands braved the unseasonably cold weather and rain to pay their respects to the country's first black president at the FNB stadium in Soweto. This is where he addressed the nation on the day of his release in 1990.
The crowds were in high spirits but were asked to "behave" after booing President Jacob Zuma a number of times. But despite a difficult start, President Zuma delivered his message, describing Madiba as "truly one of a kind".
He said Mr Mandela was a kind man but had a sharp tongue, especially when it came to something he believed in. Mr Zuma will have been relieved to hear some cheering at the end of the speech.

Zuma booed, jeered at Mandela memorial (1:44) 

Dec. 10 - South African President Jacob Zuma said Mandela ''laid a firm foundation for the South Africa of our dreams'' during his speech at Madiba's memorial in Johannesburg

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