Qunu villager remembers a friendly tata

By admin
13 December 2013

Qunu residents remember Madiba with much fondness. Here one tells YOU journalist Asa Sokopo about her memories of the great man

Nofungile Cuthalele (83) will always remember Nelson Mandela for his caring smile and friendliness. Mam’u Nofungile lives a good kilometre from the late statesman’s Qunu home. She recalls Madiba taking afternoon walks in the village. “He would greet everyone and ask us how we are and enquire about our health as the elderly do.”

'Wherever he went, children would follow.'

Mam’u Nofungile said Madiba would stop and chat to children who used to flock him. “He really loved children and wherever he went, children would follow.”

Mandela retired from public life and returned to the place he grew up, the remote village of Qunu, in 1999.

Madiba's home in Qunu is surrounded by security personnel and other staff ahead of his burial on Sunday.   Madiba's home in Qunu is surrounded by security personnel and other staff ahead of his burial on Sunday.

Mam’u Nofungile last recalls seeing Madiba about five years ago and was saddened by the news of his death on 5 December. Like the rest of the villagers, she is concerned she may not be permitted to attend Madiba’s funeral because the road leading to his home has been cordoned off by military police.

“We will probably watch the funeral from home, I have electricity and television at least,” she said proudly.

-Asa Sokopo

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