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article imageMillions celebrate as Nelson Mandela turns 94

By Darren Weir     Jul 18, 2012 in World
Around 12 million South African school children started their day by singing Happy Birthday to Nelson Mandela for his 94th birthday.
Mandela, known as Madiba in his homeland, is spending a quiet day at home in the village of Qunu, where he was born, but around the world people are remembering him through good deeds.
Earlier this year he underwent abdominal surgery but his wife Graca Machel tells CNN, "He's doing well. After the crisis last year how could you imagine that he will be so well."
Yesterday Mandela met up with his friend, former US President Bill Clinton and his daughter Chelsea for a 1 1/2 hour luncheon. Later Clinton planted a tree in honour of Mandela. He tells CNN, "He's been a wonderful friend to me." "I saw in him something that I try not to lose in myself, which is no matter how much responsibility you have, he remembered he was a person first."
People around the world are doing 67 minutes of community service today, declared Nelson Mandela International Day by the United Nations, to commemorate Mandela's 67 years of service, 27 years of it spent behind bars for opposing the apartheid regime, and another 5 years as president. Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu tells SFGate that the best birthday gift the nation could give him would be "emulate his magnanimity and grace." "Mr. Mandela taught us to love ourselves, love one another and to love our country."
For more on Nelson Mandela's life, the Nelson Mandela Foundation put together a short documentary last year to honour his legacy.
More about Nelson mandela, Birthday, Celebrate, South Africa
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