Bill Clinton visits Nelson Mandela's village

mand_0.jpg.crop_display.jpg

Former US president Bill Clinton on Tuesday paid a surprise visit to Nelson Mandela at his home in picturesque south-eastern village Qunu on the eve of the anti-apartheid icon's 94th birthday.

"It was a great honour for me to serve as a president of America while Mandela was president of the Republic of South Africa," Clinton said.

He opened a library at a primary school together with Mandela's wife, Graca Machel, and daughter Zindzi ahead of the 1iconic leader's birthday on Wednesday.

Around 3,000 schoolchildren, residents and government officials attended the library opening. In 2009 the United Nations declared July 18 as International Mandela Day, aimed at getting people all over the world to volunteer for good causes.

Dozens of journalists and others have camped outside Mandela's home hoping to get a glimpse of the iconic leader. Millions of others have prepared to sing a special birthday song for him on Wednesday morning.

Thousands of South Africans will also engage in various community projects as they rally to the call to do something to better the lives of their fellowmen by donating 67 minutes of their time.

The 67 figure comes from the number of years that Mandela fought for freedom before leading South Africa to its first democratic elections in 1994 that made him president. Mandela spent 27 of those years in prison.

Mandela was surrounded by four generations of his family as they celebrated his birthday privately.

He gave up making public appearances several years ago and rarely entertains visitors these days as well. Earlier today, the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory dismissed suggestions that Mandela's name was being exploited for commercial gain.

"We have developed an ethical framework that was negotiated with a whole range of partners which expressly asks that Nelson Mandela and Mandela Day is not commercialized. All we can do is set the example and ask other people to follow," said the Centre's chief executive Achmat Dangor.

Dangor said the intention with the annual 67 minutes campaign, started when Mandela turned 90, has always been to celebrate his legacy through community service.

Post new comment

<form action="/comment/reply/172204" accept-charset="UTF-8" method="post" id="comment-form"> <div><div class="form-item" id="edit-name-wrapper"> <label for="edit-name">Your name: <span class="form-required" title="This field is required.">*</span></label> <input type="text" maxlength="60" name="name" id="edit-name" size="30" value="Reader" class="form-text required" /> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-mail-wrapper"> <label for="edit-mail">E-Mail Address: <span class="form-required" title="This field is required.">*</span></label> <input type="text" maxlength="64" name="mail" id="edit-mail" size="30" value="" class="form-text required" /> <div class="description">The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.</div> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-comment-wrapper"> <label for="edit-comment">Comment: <span class="form-required" title="This field is required.">*</span></label> <textarea cols="60" rows="15" name="comment" id="edit-comment" class="form-textarea resizable required"></textarea> </div> <fieldset class=" collapsible collapsed"><legend>Input format</legend><div class="form-item" id="edit-format-1-wrapper"> <label class="option" for="edit-format-1"><input type="radio" id="edit-format-1" name="format" value="1" class="form-radio" /> Filtered HTML</label> <div class="description"><ul class="tips"><li>Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.</li><li>Allowed HTML tags: &lt;a&gt; &lt;em&gt; &lt;strong&gt; &lt;cite&gt; &lt;code&gt; &lt;ul&gt; &lt;ol&gt; &lt;li&gt; &lt;dl&gt; &lt;dt&gt; &lt;dd&gt;</li><li>Lines and paragraphs break automatically.</li></ul></div> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-format-2-wrapper"> <label class="option" for="edit-format-2"><input type="radio" id="edit-format-2" name="format" value="2" checked="checked" class="form-radio" /> Full HTML</label> <div class="description"><ul class="tips"><li>Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.</li><li>Lines and paragraphs break automatically.</li></ul></div> </div> </fieldset> <input type="hidden" name="form_build_id" id="form-feaab15f43e23e0cb64b50c2ef4d0b28" value="form-feaab15f43e23e0cb64b50c2ef4d0b28" /> <input type="hidden" name="form_id" id="edit-comment-form" value="comment_form" /> <fieldset class="captcha"><legend>CAPTCHA</legend><div class="description">This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.</div><input type="hidden" name="captcha_sid" id="edit-captcha-sid" value="61534043" /> <input type="hidden" name="captcha_response" id="edit-captcha-response" value="NLPCaptcha" /> <div class="form-item"> <div id="nlpcaptcha_ajax_api_container"><script type="text/javascript"> var NLPOptions = {key:'c4823cf77a2526b0fba265e2af75c1b5'};</script><script type="text/javascript" src="http://call.nlpcaptcha.in/js/captcha.js" ></script></div> </div> </fieldset> <span class="btn-left"><span class="btn-right"><input type="submit" name="op" id="edit-submit" value="Save" class="form-submit" /></span></span> </div></form>

No Articles Found

No Articles Found

No Articles Found

I want to begin with a little story that was told to me by a leading executive at Aptech. He was exercising in a gym with a lot of younger people.

Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen didn’t make the cut. Neither did Shaji Karun’s Piravi, which bagged 31 international awards.