Ninety Summers for An Icon

July 28, 2008
Mandela's 90th Birthday 2

Statement on Nelson Mandela's 90th BirthdayAbout the Author: Mary Deane Conners is the Public Affairs Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa.

Nelson Mandela turned 90 on July 18, 2008. Affectionately known as Madiba -- the clan name given to him at the "initiation ceremony" during his teenage years -- former South African President Mandela began receiving birthday wishes from the entire nation and the world for weeks prior to his birth date. From the "46664" (his number in prison) concert held in London, to the birthday party in the village of his youth, Qunu, in the rural Eastern Cape Province, there has been an outpouring of local and international respect and goodwill.

The print and electronic media have been particularly active in reporting on the many events related to Mandela's birthday and in facilitating the conveying of goodwill messages. The national broadcaster (SABC) aired many times daily its "Happy Birthday" message on all its television channels and radio stations for two weeks prior to July 18. All South Africa's most important newspapers carried multiple articles, full-scale inserts, editorials and opinion pieces, covering Madiba's life and times. The Independent Newspapers Group published a 16-page insert with the title "Happy 90th Madiba" for its various newspapers throughout the country. Articles, pictures and messages of goodwill filled each page. The Times featured a full page, front cover photograph of Madiba on July 18 with the message "Happy 90th birthday NELSON MANDELA." The Mail & Guardian featured a cartoon on the front page depicting a smiling Madiba with one of his famous shirts featuring the number "90" and many faces, young and old. Title: "Madiba @ 90: His greatness, his presents, his letters, the cartoons" and followed with an insert of nine pages in the main body of the paper.

It is difficult to overestimate the role Nelson Mandela plays in the South African psyche. He is the man, released from decades of unjust imprisonment, but without bitterness, who came to lead a nation and embody all of its finest hopes and aspirations. He brought South Africa together to create a better future.

Comments

Comments

Ronald
|
New York, USA
July 30, 2008

Ronald in New York writes:

Wasn't NELSON MANDELA on the US Terrorism Watch List?

Zharkov
|
United States
July 30, 2008

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

OK, so you disliked my first post enough to ignore it, so how about we say there are two sides to the Mandela story and his State Department fan club advertises only one side?

Kirk
|
Kentucky, USA
July 30, 2008

Kirk in Kentucky writes:

Well, shoot, Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela!

Luke F.
|
District Of Columbia, USA
July 30, 2008

DipNote Blogger Luke Forgerson writes:

@ Ronald in New York --

I'd refer you to the State Department's July 1 Daily Press Briefing, which speaks to the issue you address. I also encourage folks to read the Department's Background Notes on South Africa for more information on U.S.-South African relations.

Zharkov
|
United States
August 1, 2008

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

@ Ronald in New York, compare the State Department's history of South Africa with what Afrikaaners say, and you should see some big differences.

Shall we mention the ANC drive to remove white farmers from their land on the pretext of correcting past abuses of apartheid? Their economy is being dismantled, whites are being murdered and are fleeing, and of course, the crime rate has never been worse. Mandela began the trend. The ANC created the conditions necessary to begin reverse apartheid. Whites first were excluded from govenment jobs and are now being excluded from their own land under the usual Marxist theory of redistribution of wealth and reparations for past oppression. South Africa today has much in common with Zimbabwe, with the fastest falling standard of living in the world.

See: http://www.rense.com/general8/wars.htm

Daoud
|
United States
August 2, 2008

Daoud in U.S.A. writes:

Happy Birthday Mr. Mandela and I wish you many more to come Inshallah.

Peter
|
California, USA
August 4, 2008

Peter in California writes:

It's nice that the U.S. Congress just got around to taking Mandela off its terrorist list, where he earned his place, like so many others, for resisting U.S. sponsored terrorist regimes -- in his case apartheid South Africa.

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