Times for Nelson Mandela’s funeral on 15 December

BBC World News (channel 400 on DStv) will carry the late Nelson Mandela‘s funeral on Sunday from 06:00 GMT (That’s 08:00 CAT).
David Dimbleby introduces live coverage of the State Funeral of Nelson Mandela in Qunu, South Africa. Many Heads of State are expected to attend and pay their respects to the former President who reunited the nation and brought apartheid to an end.
Sunday 15th December from 06:00 GMT until 10:30 GMT

 

 

Remembering Madiba – attending the tribute service

Last night I again found myself in Houghton, Johannesburg. This time around I was at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, where there was a celebratory service being held for the late statesman. Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu led the service, which was attended by musician Peter Gabriel, Johannesburg Mayer, Parks Tau, human rights lawyer George Bizos, media from all over the world and of course some of Madiba’s VSPs (Very Special Persons).

Bishop Tutu is a fantastic speaker. He is funny, heartfelt, intelligent and definitely not shy. The only time he got ‘shy’ was when he met eyes with his wife who was front and centre at the service. Here is a little clip from his address:

Some of most loved musicians were also in attendance. The Grammy-winning Soweto Gospel Choir kicked things off. They were then joined by Johnny Clegg, who sang a very moving version of Asimbonanga (see below). Danny K, Mamma Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Lloyd Cele, Ed Jordan, Louise Carver, Ross from Prime Circle and Sipho Hotstix Mabuse all took to the stage too. It was truly a celebration of the man we all loved, cherished and respected.

Today is the official state memorial. The programme is expected to commence at 11am, CAT. Check your local listings to see when you can watch the proceedings.

Tribute to Madiba at Nickelback concert

Canadian rockband, Nickelback took some time out of their concert in Johannesburg at the weekend to pay tribute to the late Nelson Mandela. Mandela passed away on Thursday, 5 December at the age of 95. Goosebumps moment!

Remembering Nelson Mandela through reflection, prayer

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Today has been declared a day of reflection and a day of prayer in South Africa, following the death of our greatest hero, Nelson Mandela. Madiba passed away peacefully on Thursday evening. Since the news broke, there have been tributes, messages of support, gratitude and condolences  for Madiba and his family. And what amazes me the most is that it hasn’t just been limited to South Africa. This is arguably the biggest story in the world right now with newspapers and TV stations running stories on Mandela, his life and legacy. We’ve also seen places like the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Empire State Building in New York been lit up in the colours of the South African flag, in honour and respect of Nelson Mandela. As I type this, my heart is sore and the lump in my throat is real, but I also celebrate this global icon and the selfless bravery he dedicated his life to.

This is a day of reflection and the one thing that keeps popping up in my head is this ideal of a rainbow nation and national unity. I’m 29 years old and I was very young when the turn of democracy entered South Africa. I didn’t understand what it meant, or how important this moment was in our history, but one year later we celebrated our second national success… The rugby World Cup win. Nelson Mandela put on the number six Springbok jersey, walked onto the rugby field at Ellis Park and handed over the trophy to winning captain, Francois Pienaar. The nation went mad with excitement. Black, white, colored, Indian, it didn’t matter… Everyone was united, happy and celebrating. I remember driving around the streets of Johannesburg and seeing how excited people were. It was a significant moment for us and one that will always been treasured. Our young democracy could’ve turned ugly, but instead a jovial, celebratory and this idea of “South Africa – alive with possibility” was born. We thank Tata for that.

The next moment I recall being significant is the FIFA World Cup. From the moment we found out that it would be held in South Africa, to the weeks and days leading up to this spectacle, I remember how despite many international press outlets saying we weren’t ready, we showed them just how ready we were. The nation’s pride was at an all time high, the country looked amazing with our stadia being ready. The Gautrain began operating and all in all we had a lot to be proud of. Madiba was expected to be at the opening ceremony, but his granddaughter was sadly killed in a car accident the night before kickoff and that meant his family were absent, understandably so. I speak for many when I say this, but a lot of this would not have been possible had it not been for Mandela and his fellow struggle peers. I think while the ceremony went off without a hitch, many of us would’ve spared a thought for Madiba and given thanks to him in our own special way. One month later, the final was set to take place at Soccer City. There was a lot of speculation that Madiba would be at the final, and that he was. He, together with his wife Graça Machel, made his way onto the field.

He smiled, he waved and in his own way he blessed this global audience with his presence. It was the perfect climax to this amazing period. I remember crying like a baby with my friends because this honestly was one of the most magical moments of my life. You might not understand why, but for me, as a South African, this man; the father of our nation, gave us the opportunity to experience moments like this. Again, we thank Tata for this.

The last month in South Africa has been a challenging one. The whole Nkandla issue has left many of us feeling quite negative towards our president. The very bitter and contentious and controversial etolls have also been met with a lot of negative sentiments. The gantries went live this week and a lot of us were feeling angry at the state and Sanral. It united us in a different way, as we stood firm against the etolls and how the process was rolled out. We lost that battle, but we won in unity and a lot of those principals we owe to Tata. I think when our country gets to a point where things are very intense and things don’t look so good, there’s always some turning point that steers us in a unified, positive direction. Things could go so wrong and yet there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m not naive and I know there are issues pertaining to poverty, HIV/ Aids and other social issues and crime is prevalent in our society, but a lot of us are working towards building a better country for all, thanks to the reconciliation principals of our greatest hero, Nelson Mandela. United in life and still uniting in death. Ngiyabonga, Tata.

Statement from Johnny Clegg on Madiba’s passing

Statement by Johnny Clegg on the passing of Mr Nelson Mandela

My family and I send our condolences to all the Mandela family members on the passing of Tata. We also share with all South Africans and the global community our sense of loss and sadness at his passing.

Nelson Mandela will always define a deep part of what and who are as individuals and as a nation. It is difficult to separate the great journey to secure a democratic and non-racial South Africa from his personal qualities and character. For all South Africans he was the face and form of that voyage, particularly in the crucial decade of 1990 – 2000.

 

In the defining and tempestuous years of 1990 through to April 27th 1994 his leadership never gave the impression that he was overwhelmed by events, even in the darkest hours of Boipatong and other atrocities that were meant to derail the negotiations. When at times we felt doubt or fear, his strong resonant voice rolled out over the radio or TV and, like a tide going out, our reservations about the future receded.  We took immense nourishment and succor from his fearless and positive attitude. His charismatic openness, straight aim, direct but respectful communication with his opponents was a singularly rare quality in a time of racist and right wing demagoguery. A country in turmoil needs to feel that the Ship of State, riding the storm, is in good hands and he never gave us cause to doubt that the storm would pass and the country would be free. It is the qualities of tolerance and forgiveness however which stand out as his lasting legacy as well as the way he used these to unite the country both during and after his presidency.

With all our fellow South Africans we acknowledge with deep gratitude the debt we owe to this Man from Qunu, who bequeathed us this great country of promise. Today, although we grieve, we also proudly rejoice in his remarkable life, which we were privileged to share through extraordinary times.

Statement by Zelda La Grange

STATEMENT BY ZELDA LA GRANGE ON THE PASSING OF MR NELSON MANDELA

My sincere condolences to Mrs Graça Machel (Mum), Maki, Zeni, Zindzi, Josina, Malenga and the entire Mandela family as well as everyone who feels a sense of loss this morning.

Nelson Mandela inspired people to forgive, to reconcile, to care, to be selfless, to be tolerant, to maintain dignity no matter what the circumstances. I can attest to each of these because these are the ways in which he changed my life over the past 19 years. I am blessed and honoured by the privilege to have had the opportunity to serve him.

I often battled with the relentless pressure. But then I looked to him who carried himself with such grace and energy. I never left, I never could. Nelson Mandela did not demand loyalty, but he inspired profound and unwavering loyalty from everybody whose life he touched.

And now, as we grieve the departure of Madiba I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that I will never see him again. But heroes never die. As sad as it makes me that I will never walk into a room again and see his generous infectious smile or hear him say “Oh Zeldina, you are here” I have come to terms with the fact that Madiba’s legacy is not dependent on his presence.

His legacy will not only live on in everything that has been named after him, the books, the images, the movies. It will live on in how we feel when we hear his name, the respect and love, the unity he inspired in us as a country but particularly how we relate to one-another.

Madiba will forever be present in my life because he made me into the human being I am today. I will cherish every smile, the pleasant but also the difficult times and especially my barefoot moments. Thank you for all the wonderful opportunities you afforded me, but most of all thank you for believing in me Khulu, making me a better person, a better South African.

Tot weersiens Khulu!! Will love you every day for the rest of my life.

ENDS

Njabulo Ndebele of Nelson Mandela Foundation releases statement

Media Release: In Honour of Tata Madiba
Date of release: 6 December 2013
From: Professor Njabulo Ndebele, Chairman of the Nelson Mandela Foundation

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – Nelson Mandela

We know all South Africans and indeed the world join us in this profound sense of loss and sadness on the death of our beloved Founder, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

Our deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences are with the Mandela Family and friends at this time.

Let us stand together now and in the days ahead, and do what needs to be done to honour with dignity Tata Madiba. We know you share with many of us the same passionate wish to see Nelson Mandela’s legacy being kept alive and made available to the world.

His legacy lives on in all of us – it is in our hands now.

Hamba kahle Madiba.

Celebrate Madiba in music

One of SA’s most loved DJs, Euphonik put together a track called Domination in which he used clips from one of Nelson Mandela‘s speeches. You can listen to the track above. I know on a day like today, Euphonik will celebrate his life, his birthday and his numerous successes by being very thankful to Madiba.

Billboard has an awesome list of songs too. Click here to see that list

Morgan Freeman on Nelson Mandela

In a statement released to the media earlier, Academy Award-winner, Morgan Freeman said, “Today the world lost one of the true giants of the past century. Nelson Mandela was a man of incomparable honor, unconquerable strength, and unyielding resolve—a saint to many, a hero to all who treasure liberty, freedom and the dignity of humankind. As we remember his triumphs, let us, in his memory, not just reflect on how far we’ve come, but on how far we have to go. Madiba may no longer be with us, but his journey continues on with me and with all of us.”