Madiba- A Mystical Figure, Revered Statesman & Iconic Revolutionist
The Globe on Friday 6th December, 2013 grappled with the loss of South Africa’s beloved Nelson Mandela, a towering figure of the 20th century who inspired millions across the globe with his struggle for equality. Draped in flags, South African football shirts, and even their pyjamas and dressing gowns, hundreds of mourners took the streets around the Johannesburg house of the former South African president as news broke of the death of the man who gave them freedom. That was Nelson Mandela, who emerged from prison after 27 years to lead his country out of decades of apartheid, died at age 95. Mandela, a former president, battled health issues in recent years, including a recurring lung infection that led to numerous hospitalizations. The Nobel Peace Prize winner served just one term as president before taking up a new role as a leading AIDS campaigner, before finally retiring from public life in 2004. Leaders from across the world paid tribute to Mandela. US President Barack Obama paid respect and said, "He achieved more than could be expected of any man. Today he's gone home and we've lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this earth." Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said, "While the world may never see another Nelson Mandela, he has inspired countless men and women throughout the world to live more courageous and honest lives." U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron "A great light has gone out in the world. Nelson Mandela was a towering figure in our time; a legend in life and now in death—a true global hero." Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, "Not only did he represent the conscience of the world, he also remained a beacon of hope for those struggling against oppression and injustice long after he had led his own people to victory over such ills." Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (in a statement issued by her press secretary): "The Queen was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Nelson Mandela last night. He worked tirelessly for the good of his country, and his legacy is the peaceful South Africa we see today. Her Majesty remembers with great warmth her meetings with Mr. Mandela and sends her sincere condolences to his family and the people of South Africa at this very sad time."