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The life and legacy of Nelson Mandela

By Issa A. Mansaray 

Contributing Writer

 

Nelson Mandela, 95, first Black president of South Africa who fought for the freedom of his people and against apartheid, died at about 8:50 pm local time on Thursday. Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, current president of South Africa, said, “Our nation has lost its greatest son.”

Mr. Zuma announced in a televised message late Thursday, “Our people have lost a father.” Dressed in black, Zuma added that Mandela’s death is the country’s moment of “deepest sorrow” and that the Mandela family has “sacrificed much and endured so much that our people could be free.”

Mandela has been in and out of the Mediclinic Hospital in Pretoria on more than six separate occasions this year undergoing treatment for lung infection. “His commitment to transfer power and reconcile with those who jailed him set an example that all humanity should aspire to,” said U.S. President Barack Obama in an official statement on Thursday evening, adding that the late Mandela was “influential, courageous and profoundly good.”

 

The noble family

Born on July 18, 1918 in Mvezo, a village close to the banks of the Mbashe River in the Transkei region, Mandela is the most famous South African in the world. His father, Gadla Henry Mphanyiswa Mandela, was a tall, imposing man who settled village quarrels. “I define myself through my father,” Mandela once said. Continue Reading →

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