Thursday, 18 July 2013


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Nelson Mandela turns 95 today. Trust South Africans to turn out in their numbers at the Pretoria hospital where he is being treated.

Wave after musical wave rang out, as choirs, political groups, schoolchildren and onlookers arrived one after another, dancing, gyrating and laughing, each with their own loud musical tribute to the man they see as the one who brought them freedom.

What better way to celebrate his extraordinary life and impact on racial equality in South Africa than to watch a short biography.

While Mandela is often referred to as the "father of the nation," he had humble roots: He was born Rolihlahla Mandela in 1918 in a small village. When he began his British education at age 7, his teacher gave him the name Nelson.

By the time he was elected president in 1994, after having spent 27 years in prison for his fight against apartheid, it had been more than 300 years since blacks in South Africa had been allowed to vote. We learned a few things about the man affectionately known around the world as Madiba, and you might, too.


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