So sad. The former South African president died on Dec. 5 at the age of 95. He will be greatly missed. The current president Jacob Zuma announced the passing at 8:50pm local time in South Africa.
Nelson Mandela sadly passed away on Dec.5, 2013 at home in Houghton, South Africa. He had been suffering from a recurring lung infection and was frequently in the hospital over the last year. The revolutionary leader fought passionately against the injustice of apartheid and later dedicated himself to bringing the South African nation together peacefully after apartheid was abolished. He leaves behind an incredible legacy and will not be forgotten.
Nelson Mandela Dead — ‘Will Sleep for Eternity’
In an interview for the documentary, Mandela (1996), Nelson said, “Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity.” Nelson truly committed himself to making the world a better place, and he succeeded.
Nelson was survived by his third wife, Graça Machel, three children, 17 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Nelson Mandela’s Accomplishments
Nelson is credited for establishing South Africa’s democracy. After serving 27 years in prison for fighting apartheid, he became a major international figure. Along with the F.W. de Klerk, the South African President in 1993, Nelson won the Nobel Peace Prize.
In 1994, Nelson was elected as the president of South Africa, and served one term, through 1999. He became an icon and a greatly admired leader. In 2012, South Africa printed a new set of banknotes, featuring Nelson smiling on the front of them as a tribute to him.
“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination,” Nelson once said, which means that he was one of the best combinations.
Even after Nelson’s presidency was over, he remained active in mediating conflicts from Africa to the Middle East.
President Barack Obama, Muhammad Ali & Other Celebrities Remember Mandela
“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. He no longer belongs to us, he belongs to the ages,” President Barack Obama said in a press conference. “Today, he has gone home.”
“So long as I live, I will do what I can to learn from him,” the president continued before extending his sympathy to his loved ones. “I only hope that the time spent with him these last few weeks have brought them peace and comfort.”
“Let us pause and give thanks that Nelson Mandela lived.”
Former professional boxer Muhammad Ali also released a touching statement praising the late leader on Dec. 5:
I am deeply saddened by the passing of Mr. Mandela. His was a life filled with purpose and hope; hope for himself, his country and the world. He inspired others to reach for what appeared to be impossible and moved them to break through the barriers that held them hostage mentally, physically, socially and economically. He made us realize, we are our brother’s keeper and that our brothers come in all colors. What I will remember most about Mr.Mandela is that he was a man whose heart, soul and spirit could not be contained or restrained by racial and economic injustices, metal bars or the burden of hate and revenge. He taught us forgiveness on a grand scale. His was a spirit born free, destined to soar above the rainbows. Today his spirit is soaring through the heavens. He is now forever free.
Actor Morgan Freeman released a statement about Nelson’s passing, saying:
Today the world lost one of the true giants of the past century. Nelson Mandela was a man of incomparable honor, unconquerable strength, and unyielding resolve—a saint to many, a hero to all who treasure liberty, freedom and the dignity of humankind. As we remember his triumphs, let us, in his memory, not just reflect on how far we’ve come, but on how far we have to go. Madiba may no longer be with us, but his journey continues on with me and with all of us.
Nelson also made a lasting impression on former President Bill Clinton, who tweeted:
I will never forget my friend Madiba. pic.twitter.com/UX21ZZG7cg
— Bill Clinton (@billclinton) December 5, 2013
Nelson Mandela’s Inspirational Quotes
Nelson has said some of the most emotional and powerful quotes ever, inspiring people all over the world.
He once said, “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.”
Another positive quote is, “There is no passion to be found playing small — in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
He has influenced an incredible number of lives and will be missed tremendously. Our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones at this time.
WATCH: Nelson Mandela Dead At 95
— Tiffany Gagnon