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article imageNelson Mandela: A life well lived, a man to be remembered

By Anne Sewell     Dec 5, 2013 in World
Johannesburg - Former president Nelson Mandela, a man who has inspired so many and has lived a good and long life, has finally left these shores. South Africa, and indeed the world, will mourn his passing.
On December 5, 2013, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, fondly known by his clan name, Madiba, has passed away at the great age of 95, leaving a family in grief, and a country in mourning.
He leaves his current wife, Graça Machel, and former wives, Evelyn Ntoko Mase (from 1944–1957) and Winnie Madikizela Mandela (from 1958–1996), his children - Zindziswa Mandela - daughter, Makaziwe Mandela - daughter, Makgatho Mandela - son, Zenani Mandela - daughter and Madiba Thembekile Mandela - son, along with 17 grandchildren and 12 surviving great-grandchildren.
According to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, "Mr Mandela has received more than 695 awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize and the US Congressional Medal. He also has scores of honorary degrees, honorary citizenships and honorary memberships of organizations. Many streets and buildings have been named after Mr Mandela."
Madiba spent 18 years on Robben Island Maximum Security Prison off the shores of Cape Town, South Africa from 1962–1982, after which he was transferred to Pollsmoor Prison and then to Victor Verster Prison, from which he was released on February 11, 1990.
Nelson Mandela in 1937
Nelson Mandela in 1937
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An anti-apartheid revolutionary and politician, Mr Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 and was the first black South African to hold the office, and the first to be elected in a fully representative, multiracial election.
Mr Mandela has done much in establishing the post-apartheid "New South Africa", or the "Rainbow Nation" as it is known.
Mr Mandela has been hospitalized for a recurring lung infection, caused by suffering from tuberculosis during his imprisonment on Robben Island. While at one stage he appeared to be recovering, he became critical recently and on June 26 was placed on life-support and moved back to his home in Houghton, Johannesburg.
South African President Jacob Zuma said today of Mr Mandela:
"He is now resting. He is now at peace."
"Our nation has lost his greatest son. Our people have lost their father."
Zuma said that a state funeral will be held and he called for mourners to conduct themselves with "the dignity and respect" that Mandela personified, adding:
"Wherever we are in the country, wherever we are in the world, let us reaffirm his vision of a society… in which none is exploited, oppressed or dispossessed by another."
A full biography of Mr Mandela's life can be read here.
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The video above is a tribute to Mr Mandela by Johnny Clegg and the band Savuka, called "Asimbonanga." A touching and appropriate tribute indeed to a great man, the lyrics are included below:
Asimbonanga, by Johnny Clegg
Chorus:
Asimbonanga (we have not seen him)
Asimbonang' umandela thina (we have not seen Mandela)
Laph'ekhona (in the place where he is)
Laph'ehleli khona (in the place where he is kept)
Oh the sea is cold and the sky is grey
Look across the island into the bay
We are all islands till comes the day
We cross the burning water
Chorus....
A seagull wings across the sea
Broken silence is what I dream
Who has the words to close the distance
Between you and me
Chorus....
Steve Biko, Victoria Mxenge
Neil Aggett
Asimbonanga (we have not seen him)
Asimbonang 'umfowethu thina (we have not seen our brother)
Laph'ekhona (in the place where he is)
Laph'wafela khona (in the place where he died)
Hey wena (hey you!)
Hey wena nawe (hey you and you as well)
Siyofika nini la' siyakhona (when will we arrive at our destination).
A woman cries as the United Nations Security Council observes a minute of silence upon the news of t...
A woman cries as the United Nations Security Council observes a minute of silence upon the news of the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela, December 5, 2013
With permission by Reuters / Siphiwe Sibeko
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