Lawyer, 1993 Nobel Peace Prize winner, African National Congress warrior, President of South Africa, prisoner, Madiba all are factual monikers of a fierce freedom fighter celebrating his 9oth year upon Earth. Twenty seven of his years were spent imprisoned in the harsh conditions of Robben Island, aka Mandela University, until his release in 1990. Nelson Mandela comes from a storied African royal line and waged a revolution on behalf of all. From fighting the oppressive racist colonial system of apartheid to convicted prisoner 46664 at the former leper colony to Truth And Reconciliation as president of South Africa is the arc of a tremendous story on behalf of humankind. Friend of Kings, Queens, Oprah & Noami, The Elders, soccer fans, Oliver Tambo & Walter Sisulu, Bill & Hillary Clinton, former archbishop Desmond Tutu, Winne Madikizela-Mandela his second wife and mother of his children plus a host of other people well known and those not.
MANDELA!!! was a battle cry in both the United States and in South Africa. Collegiate protests helped force mega multinational companies home based in the USA divest in South Africa. Before he died of AIDS, humanitarian and tennis star Arthur Ashe protested outside the South African embassy and was arrested at an anti apartheid rally in 1985 making a poignant plea on behalf of ridding South Africa of the evils of apartheid. As Africa suffers with stigmas orphans and a prodigious lack of resources to fight AIDS, Nelson Mandela's humanitarian foundation has taken up the cause even as he lost his own son to the disease early in 2005.
Born on July 18, 1918 the man of experiences has a Birthday Message to everyone. He along with his wife, Graça Machel, are celebrating in his home filled with exuberant grandchildren today in Qunu, South Africa. Nelson Mandela's presents include busts, books with amazing illustrations - the one I love and treasure is Mandela - and wall portraits from famous artists of him. All were tributes to him. No matter the year, Nelson Mandela sports the coolest patterned shirts on the planet! An artist for his statue in Parliament Square, famous for protests by the People, in London near Westminster Abbey and Big Ben has him wearing one of his iconic shirts. Ninety years young and still the height of hip.
"There are many people in South Africa who are rich and who can share those riches with those not so fortunate who have not been able to conquer poverty," Mandela said.
"I am sure for many people that is their wish," he said. "I also havethat wish that I spent more time (with my family). But I don't regret it."
"This is my property. When I am here, I feel I own something," he said.
In Johannesburg, children celebrated with birthday cake at the offices of the foundation Mandela founded after stepping down as president in 1999, and his African National Congress unfurled giant banners featuring his image at its downtown headquarters.
In 1994 as he was sworn in as South Africa's president Nelson Mandela was 77 years young. It is also his tenth wedding anniversary to Graça making it a joyous occasion on several accounts. She is married to a world icon who is beloved. Nelson Mandela has forgiven those who trespassed against him in a graceful and public way. Nelson Mandela's enormous legacy will burnish always, just for that heroic act alone.
Nelson Mandela's autobigraphical work of immense worth, tremendous insights and of literary note is the acclaimed
Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela by the wonder of the world himself. Nelson and my father make me proud! Madiba magic!