South African liberation leader and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison and became his country’s first black president, died at his home December 5 at the age of 95. Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, which he shared with South Africa’s last apartheid leader F.W. de Klerk, for shepherding a historic peaceful transition to democratic rule.
The death of Mandela, affectionately called Madiba, is being mourned across the world. From formal tributes by world leaders to encomia heaped by celebrities on assorted social media platforms, Mandela, who epitomised the indomitable power of human spirit and justice to prevail over injustice and tyranny, remains a powerful reminder of the sheer power of self-belief to change the world.
(Excerpts of tributes from around the world):
He is now resting. He is now at peace. Our nation as lost his greatest son Our people have lost their father.
–South African President Jacob Zuma
A giant among men has passed away. This is as much India’s loss as South Africa’s. He was a true Gandhian. His life and work will remain a source of eternal inspiration for generations to come. I join all those who are praying for his soul.
–India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
He was a giant for justice. Many around the world were influenced by his selfless struggle for human dignity, equality and freedom. He touched our lives in deeply personal ways. Nelson Mandela showed what is possible for our world and within each one of us if we believe, dream and work together for justice and humanity.
–UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon.
He no longer belongs to us; he belongs to the ages. Like so many around the globe, I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set, and so long as I live I will do what I can to learn from him.
–US President Barack Obama
A great light has gone out in the world. Nelson Mandela was a towering figure in our time; a legend in life and now in death — a true global hero.
–British Prime Minister David Cameron
He would “long be an inspiration to all of humanity. Today the world has lost one of its most important leaders and one of its finest human beings.
–Former US President Bill Clinton
A great human being who… made us understand that we can change the world.
–Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi
The best tribute we can pay to him is to do whatever we can to contribute to honouring the oneness of humanity and working for peace and reconciliation as he did.
–The Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader
Over the past 24 years Madiba taught us how to come together and to believe in ourselves and each other. He was a unifier from the moment he walked out of prison.
–Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Every time Melinda and I met Nelson Mandela, we left more inspired than ever. His grace and courage changed the world. This is a sad day.
–Microsoft founder Bill Gates Gates
Mandela “was a hero to me. He was a friend and a companion in the popular fight and the fight for world peace.”
–Brazilian football legend Pele
I had the greatest honor to meet and spend time with him on two occasions ! His humility his greatest asset, among countless other ! T 1315 – Nelson Mandela – a giant of a man ; of will, belief and perseverance, passes away. But leaves behind a legacy of fight for right !!
–India’s iconic actor Amitabh Bachchan
Remembering what he told me: “It would be preposterous for me to give any advise to India. Just live the words of Gandhi”. Nelson Mandela practiced what he preached. An exemplary life has ended in an exemplary manner with dignity & respect till the end. Thank u Sir. A small man makes u feel small. An great man makes u feel great!
–Indian filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt
Nelson Mandela was a father to all of us. May his life be a constant reminder, that we are all ONE WORLD. He will be missed.
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