Mandelas celebrate Madiba’s birthday with mixed feelings – great grandchild

2013-07-18 17:28

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It’s not easy for the Mandela family to celebrate Madiba’s birthday while he is in hospital, Mayibuye Mandela (19) has said about his great uncle.

Said the pupil of the Qunu Junior Secondary School in the Eastern Cape, who regards Mandela as a great grandfather: “We are caught between a hard place and a rock, because (he) is in hospital. We don’t know whether to celebrate or not, but we have been encouraged by the support of fellow South Africans.”

He said family members were still anxious about Madiba’s health.

Pupils from Mayibuye’s school, and from the Milton Mbekela Senior Secondary School, sang to Madiba this morning to wish him a happy birthday and waved the South African flag.

Also today, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga spent Nelson Mandela International Day at the Nelson Mandela School of Science and Technology at former president Nelson Mandela’s birthplace, Mvezo. A hundred trees were planted as part of the 67-minutes initiative.

She said the school, the establishment of which had been facilitated by Madiba in 2010, was a fitting tribute to him as the elderly statesman once said: “Education is the most powerful weapon, which one can use to change the world.”

Mvezo was a hive of activity today as hundreds of people from the village joined in to see the progress at the school.

Mandela’s grandson, Mandla Mandela, said the state-of-the-art facility was the hope of the youth of Mvezo and the province, and has already started making a difference to villagers as most of the labour come from the community.

“Even though our thoughts are with Madiba in hospital, today we are rejoicing because one of his dreams are being fulfilled, that of having a high school in Mvezo. This day marks an important milestone, because the inspiration of this school comes from the man who we celebrate (on) his birthday today,” said Mandla.

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