‘Dear Nelson Mandela. You’ve served our country, now it’s our time to serve’

2013-07-02 20:32

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“Dear Nelson Mandela. You have served our country so much, now it is our time to serve. You are my hero. Thank you so much for giving us happiness.”

These words are contained in a blue handmade card 11-year-old Jessica Shames placed at his Houghton home today.

Another youngster, Adam Shames (9), said in his message to the ailing former president: “You have helped black and white people to bond. We love and want to see you get well.”

Jamela Garda recalled how Mandela once stopped her and her then 5-month-old son, Shakeel, in the middle of street and kissed her on the hand while also kissing Shakeel on the forehead.

“How are you, my son? You are the future of this country,” he said.

Though Shakeel admits he does not remember meeting Mandela, he says Mandela has had an impact on his life.

“I feel meeting him affected my life and wish him a speedy recovery.”

Said Garda: “It’s so sad that he is ill. We pray that God is with him.”

Actor Mmabatho Molefe came to the Houghton house with her husband, Sello Molefe, and their two daughters, Tiro (14) and Utlwanong (11), to wish Mandela well.

Tiro’s message to Madiba said he was her inspiration. “You have paved the way for the youth of today ... Now we should follow your steps.”

The Mholi family held hands and silently prayed for Mandela.

Said Lisa Mholi: “Mandela fought for freedom. I cannot imagine life without him.”

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