Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Mandela, South Africa's legendary leader, celebrates 94th birthday

South Africa's beloved first black president, Nelson Mandela, turned 94 Wednesday in his home village of Qunu. The celebration, with his family, was to include a birthday cake and his favorite dish of tripe with samp, or coarsely ground cornmeal.

Schoolchildren and celebrities sang "Happy Birthday, Madiba," as South Africans affectionately call the former leader, using his clan name. Millions of South Africans donated 67 minutes of their time to public service, one minute for each of the years he dedicated his life to service.

Mandela retired from public life in 2004 and rarely appears in public. He spends most of his time in his rural home village of Qunu outside Mthatha in South Africa's Eastern Cape province with his wife, Graca Machel.

Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea visited Mandela at Qunu on Tuesday. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama also sent birthday wishes.

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