To Madiba, from Yeoville, with love

2012-07-18 13:12

Tucked away in a corner in the bustling Yeoville, foreign Africans went about the usual business of touting and selling in the Yeoville Market.

Although nothing seemed different from any other day, the hawkers harboured only well-wishes for South Africa’s most celebrated senior citizen, Nelson Mandela, on his birthday today.

“I’m very happy because he’s 94. May God give him long life,” said Victoria Musenge who hails from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mohammad Jane, who came from Senegal in 2008, sells shoes in the cosmopolitan trading place. Madiba has made quite an impression on him.

“I want Mandela to live until (the age of) 100, 120. I like the guy because he was a good president. He is the best president in all Africa,” he said referring to the peace uTata helped negotiate.

A self-described “hustler”, 26-year-old Zimbabwean Gareth Ndlovu was full of praise for Mandela.

“He’s a cool guy, a hero actually. Even people overseas respect him; he’s a legend. I wish him many more years to come.”

For a moment the worries of making a living, meeting the demands of survival and the life left outside of South Africa is forgotten.

The diverse citizens of Africa are unanimous in their sentiment towards Madiba. “I’m just wishing him a happy birthday,” said barber Ephraim Mgutshini from Zimbabwe.

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