Political leaders and personalities across the world are celebrating the first democratically-elected President of South Africa Nelson Mandela on his 101st posthumous birthday.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner was born on this day July 18, 1918, a day that has been dedicated as the Nelson Mandela International Day by the United Nations. He died on December 5th 2013.
He was repeatedly arrested for seditious activities and in 1962 he was arrested and subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiring to overthrow the state. He served 27 years in prison, and amid growing domestic and international pressure, and with fears of racial civil war, President F. W. de Klerk released him in 1990.
The UN declared July 18, the Nelson Mandela Day in November 2009 as a global call to action under the premise that everyone has the power to make an impact on the planet.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres in his tribute to Mandela described the anti-apartheid leader as an “extraordinary global advocate for dignity and equality” who anyone in public service should emulate.
The President of Ireland, Michael Higgins also wrote via his verified Twiter handle,
Today is #MandelaDay2019, marking the birth of Nelson Mandela (18 July 1918).
— President of Ireland (@PresidentIRL) July 18, 2019
US Democrat Congresswoman Ilhan Omar also tweeted:
“It is in our hands to make of our world a better one for all.”
– Nelson Mandela
Today let us honor #MandelaDay as he taught us that we have the power to make that change.
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) July 18, 2019
South African footballers Jannie Van Wyk and Itumeleng Khune also wrote:
“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 #MandelaDay2019 pic.twitter.com/lHJBhPMl9H
— Janine Van Wyk (@Janinevanwyk5) July 18, 2019
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear -Nelson Mandela #67minForMandela pic.twitter.com/FDMbsliaNw
— IIKHUNE3216 (@IIKHUNE_32_16) July 18, 2019
Mayor of Toronto in Canada, John Tory also paid tribute. He wrote via his Twitter handle:
Today, we celebrate Nelson Mandela’s legacy of courage, determination and hope. For decades, Nelson Mandela fought to make South Africa and the world a better place. His commitment to freedom and democracy should inspire us all. #MandelaDay pic.twitter.com/IWKfAPjFah
— John Tory (@JohnTory) July 18, 2019
See other reactions:
Today is Nelson Mandela Day: the finest man I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing, and one of the most charming.
— John Simpson (@JohnSimpsonNews) July 18, 2019
Today marks the 101st birthday of Nelson Mandela, a man who believed in human rights for all.
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) July 18, 2019
NELSON MANDELA DAY
The world celebrates and honors & giant in the freedom for justice, fairness and equality.
— Minister of Transport |Mr Fix (@MbalulaFikile) July 18, 2019
There are more words that could describe Nelson Mandela than there are stars in the sky.
— @JajaMusicOffical (@JajaMusic0) July 18, 2019
Today marks the 101st birthday of Nelson Mandela, a man who believed in human rights for all. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate was South Africa’s first black president. ‘Madiba’, as he was affectionately known, is among the great heroes of history. pic.twitter.com/Fa7l9WwfRS
— Henri Dommel (@HenriDommel7) July 18, 2019
— 🅲🆄🆃🅴 🅱🆄🆃 🅿🆂🆈🅲🅷🅾 👽 (@PsychooSlimD) July 18, 2019