HEALTH / FITNESS NEWS
July 18, 2012 12:00:00 AM
  Follow @ Twitter

South Africa's 12 million schoolchildren sang happy birthday to Nelson Mandela as he turned 94 on Wednesday, at the start of events to honour the country's first black president.

At 8:00 am (0600 GMT), children began their day at school with a special birthday song ringing with the line: "We love you father".

"This is a very important day for all of us," said Paul Ramela, principal at a primary school in Soweto.

"We are here to celebrate the birthday of a very important person, a person who has liberated us from apartheid," he told his students. "Mandela spent 67 years of his life to improve the lives of other people. He has done so much for all of us."

Mandela himself was unlikely to make any public appearance, but rather to celebrate quietly with his family in his village home of Qunu.

His granddaughter Ndileka Mandela told the Sowetan newspaper that his family would celebrate with a traditional meal of tripe and samp, a corn dish popular in his region of the Eastern Cape.

"We will probably have food like samp and tripe, his favourite food," she told the paper. "The big lunch will be at 4:00 pm (1400 GMT) where we will present him with a cake."

Former US president Bill Clinton met with Mandela at his village home on Tuesday. A photograph released after the meeting showed Mandela seated in an armchair, his lap covered by a blanket, as he held Clinton's hand.

Images of the Nobel Peace Prize winner have become rare in recent years as he has retired to Qunu. He was last seen in public at the closing ceremony of the 2010 World Cup in Johannesburg.

AFP




 


PREVIOUS STORY
Physical inactivity kills 5 million a year
NEXT STORY
'First superstar' of Bollywood dies

Bookmark and Share
   




FIJI NEWS
Fiji envoy presents credentials to MaldivesFijiís High Commissioner to India Yogesh Karan presented his credentials to the Maldives President, Abdulla Y A Gayoom at his office in Malť earlier this week.
SPORTS
Nadroga wins protest, faces Ba in semisNadroga will replace Nadi in the second semifinal of the 2014 Sanatan IDC this morning after winning by protest against the Jetsetters.
LIFESTYLE/FASHION
Blake chase Ms World for FijiMiss World Fiji Director Andhy Blake is adamant to select the best contestants with a view to win Fiji the coveted Miss World crown.
ENTERTAINMENT
Sam Smithís debut In The Lonely Hour out in MayBRIT and BBC Sound Poll winner Sam Smithís debut album In The Lonely Hour is out on May 23.
OFFBEAT
Mercury 'took Princess Diana to gay barQueen singer Freddie Mercury disguised the late Princess Diana as a male model and smuggled her into a notorious gay bar, according to a memoir serialised in Britain's Sunday Times.
NEWS SPORTS INFOTAINMENT SERVICES MOBILE EXTRA HOT TOPICS