‘The children of South Africa love you Madiba’

2011-01-28 07:13

As former president Nelson Mandela spent his second night in Milpark Hospital, neighbouring school McAuley House continued to put up messages of support for him today.

Schoolchildren cut out their hand prints on pieces of paper for Mandela, who was admitted to the Johannesburg hospital on Wednesday afternoon.

“Dearest President Mandela you are forever an inspiration to us all, thank you for our dignity,” was written on one print.

“Madiba I am so sorry you are sick I wish you can get better,” read another.

“Dear Nelson Mandela I love you so much I wish you can get better soon.”

The message on a yellow, green, pink and white poster read: “The children of South Africa love you”.

This morning teachers at McAuley House put up more posters.

Grade 4 teacher Deirdre Axford said: “All the children in the primary school did this yesterday.

“They are very much aware of what’s going on. They are all aware of him and learn about him in class. They are worried about him.

“The little ones were hoping he would visit them, but we had to explain that when you are in hospital you have to go home after.”

One child approached journalists and asked: “Where are the news people I want to be in the news.”

The messages were tied to a palisade fence around the school.

Schoolchildren spoke about their feelings for Mandela.

Gugu Sihlali, Grade 6J, said, “It’s very sad because Madiba brought us here today. He spent 27 years in prison for us.
Being happy that there are journalists so we can be on TV is not right. We must be more worried about Madiba.”

Keabetswe Seleso, Grade 6J, said: “I started learning about Madiba when I was two from my granny. She said Madiba fought for them and went to jail for us ’cause there were people fighting everywhere for peace. I wish he will get well soon. The world will be torn without him.”

Kamogeio Ramela, also Grade 6J, said: “I’d like to say to Mandela, we wish you well. We know you had a hard life in jail fighting for us. We love you. Just get well. You’re like our father.”

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