Dec 06, 2013
By Jane Brown
In South Africa, ten days of mourning are underway for Former President Nelson Mandela. The anti-apartheid icon who led his country’s transition from white-minority racist rule died yesterday at the age of 95. He had been battling a lung infection, which was a legacy of the twenty-seven years he spend in prison during the apartheid era. On hearing the news, many South Africans walked for hours to Mandela’s home town, where they sang and danced in celebration of his life. Mandela was theco-winner of the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, and preached reconciliation after spending nearly three decades in prison for his political activities.
Soon after his death was announced, U.S. President Barack Obama paid tribute to Nelson Mandela, whom he said achieved more than could be expected of any man. “We’ve lost one of the most influential, courageous, and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this earth,” Obama shared, “He no longer belongs to us. He belongs to the ages.”
Prime Minister Harper reacted to the death of Nelson Mandela by saying the world has lost “one of its great moral leaders and statesmen.” The Prime Minister is expected to attend the funeral for Nelson Mandela next week.
At Toronto City Hall, Mayor Rob Ford was clearly moved by Mandela’s passing, “You look at someone who spend twenty-eight years in prison, and has no animosity, that’s what you call a true man. And the world will miss Nelson Mandela. Every country, every city, he’s touched.” Nelson Mandela’s death came just hours before a Torontoscreening of the biopic based on Mandela’s life, called Long Walk to Freedom. The event had been organized for weeks by the Toronto District School Board to be held atNelson Mandela Park Public School in Regent Park.The inner city school serves a diverse population and starts each day with a Nelson Mandela quote read out over the public address system. Mandela attended the dedication of the school in 2001, on his final trip to Toronto. That same visit, Nelson Mandela was made an honourary citizen of Canada. Mandela had visited on Toronto on two previous occasions; in 1990, soon after his release from prison and in 1998 when he was South African president.
Nelson Mandela’s legacy lives on his memorable quotes. Read some of his powerful quotes here