Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela

“He will eat the cake with his family (…) will be quiet day for him,” said Grace Machel for BBC, the wife of Nelson Mandela. She also said that the former South African president is doing very well.

In front of the residence of former South African head of state (1994-1999), dozens of people gathered early this morning, trying to see the “Madiba”, as South Africans call him, with great affection.

Besides his family, 100 young people from the villages where he grew up, Qunu and Mvezo, were invited to the anniversary of Nelson Mandela, who said on many occasions how much he had missed his children during the 27 years prison. They all sang the traditional “Happy Birthday” and then returned to their villages.

Today, the entire world celebrates the first Nelson Mandela International Day, after the UN decided in November 2009, paying tribute to each year, on July 18, the efforts of the South African militant for peace and freedom.

From a rally held in Madrid to a charity football tournament for Peace held in Darfur, many events are set to honor the leader of the anti-apartheid movement.

In South Africa, celebrities and civilians devote 67 minutes of their time – as a tribute to the number of years that Nelson Mandela took on the fight for equality – to provide various community work: renovating an orphanage, planting trees, donating school furniture and clothing and organizing reading sessions for children.

To celebrate this event, 30 individuals started in Johannesburg a motorcycle journey to arrive in Cape Town after six days, stopping on the way to participate in various community projects.

Actor Morgan Freeman, who played the Mandela film “Invictus”, directed by Clint Eastwood is one of those personalities, even though he himself will lead a motorcycle. This morning, Morgan Freeman participated in planning an AIDS medical center in town Khayelitsha, near Cape Town.

At Mvezo, native village of Nelson Mandela, the current South African President, Jacob Zuma, will perform various volunteer activities for 67 minutes, and will deliver a speech during the afternoon, in front of over 5,000 people.

Nelson Mandela on the autopsy table – indignation in Pretoria

A painting that depicts Nelson Mandela on an autopsy table caused outrage on Saturday to South African ruling party, although the author argues that he wanted only to bring a tribute to the former president.

Damaso Yuill’s work presents Mandela dead, lying on an autopsy table, under the eyes of South African political figures.

The painting, exhibited in a gallery in Johannesburg, provoked outrage in the political arena. “ANC is deeply shocked and firmly condemns the painting entitled “Mandela dead” said a statement of South African ruling party.

“It’s distasteful, disrespectful and an insult to our society values” say ANC adding that this painting is “racist” and pointing out that many South Africans consider the a dead man in a painting as an act of witchcraft.

Damaso Yuill claims that he had no intention of offending Mandela. The painting shows “Mandela’s flesh and bones, which proves he is a man, like all of us,” he said, for the Saturday Star newspaper. “He has done great things, has a huge national and international influence, but the picture reminds that he is an ordinary man”, said the artist.

The painting, inspired by The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp by Rembrandt (1632), presents the Nkosi Johnson, who became a symbol of the fight against AIDS, but also Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize, President Jacob Zuma, the former President Thabo Mbeki and the opposition leader Helen Zilla.

Mandela, who face many health problems, will do 92 years on July 18. He rarely appeared in public lately, and his presence at the World Cup final on Sunday is still uncertain.

Image source: lci.tf1.fr

Naomi Campbell received a “blooded diamond”

Prosecuting lawyers in this process, which takes place in Holland, claim that Charles Taylor removed from the country many diamonds, which would have took in South Africa to sell or to get their arms in return.

Charles Taylor is accused that would have given such a diamond to model Naomi Campbell after the famous British model took part at a dinner held in South Africa, chaired by the country’s former president, Nelson Mandela.

Mia Farrow, who was also present at the event, appeared on the list of witnesses at the trial. American actress said that Naomi Campbell told her the next day how she received the unusual gift.

“Naomi Campbell should say and do the right thing to do,” concluded the American actress.