Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela

As I prepare for my trip to South Africa, I am excited and elated about what’s to come. I look forward to doing the whole “tourist” thing and seeing all I can see and capturing them through photographs.

As excited as I am, my heart is still heavy about the condition of Nelson Mandela. When he had to be hospitalized for reoccurring lung infection, everyone feared the worst, but I read on TheHuffingtonPost.com that he is showing great signs of improvement. This is not only good news for Mandela and South Africa, but also the world.

The anti-apartheid leader spent 27 years in prison, but today celebrates his 95th birthday in the hospital. To celebrate his birthday, various charity events were scheduled in his honor.

To symbolize the 67 years of public service performed by Mandela, many South Africans volunteered 67 minutes to a charity of their choice.

Mandela makes South Africans “walk tall” retired archbishop Desmond Tutu said. He assisted in painting a school outside of Cape Town.

The last president of the apartheid era, F.W. de Klerk issued a statement regarding Mandela’s birthday. He stated that it, “should be a time for quiet and respectful contemplation – and not for unseemly squabbling over the ownership of Mandela’s heritage. Throughout his life he has been a loyal and stalwart member of the ANC – but I believe that through his example and through his unwavering commitment to national reconciliation – all South Africans, regardless of their race or political affiliation, can now proudly call him their own.”

President Jacob Zuma visited Mandela and had a good report to give. “He continues to respond positively to treatment and we are encouraged by the progress he is making,” Zuma said. “We are proud to call this international icon our own as South Africans and wish him good health. Zuma also thanked South Africans for their “undying love and compassion” and said that he wanted to give the national icon “the biggest birthday celebration ever this year.”

The service that was shown to others on behalf of Mandela beats traditional cake and ice cream any day!

-Dr. O

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