Nelson Mandela has marked his 95th birthday. The previous South African Leader, still seriously unwell following a returning lung infection, is said to be making progress towards a stable condition.
Current South African President Jacob Zuma is alleged to be “encouraged” by Mr. Mandela’s progress. “I’m able to say ‘happy birthday’ and he was able to smile,” said Mr. Zuma in a statement.
Mandela’s birthday is also Worldwide Mandela Day, one day declared by the U.N in honour of the Man’s contributions to racial equality, as well as to South Africa and the world.
South African artiste Paul Blomkamp will unveil a large painting of Mandela in New York’s Times Square and various commemorative concerts shall be happening in Melbourne, Australia.
In Africa, school children might be singing a synchronised rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ for our President, while President Zuma will oversee the donation of houses to poor families within the Pretoria area. In Johannesburg, residents and well wishers might be forming a Human chain that’s expected to stretch from the Fashion District much of the way to the heart of the city.
Meanwhile, volunteers around the world (including British Entrepreneur Richard Branson) will donate 67 minutes to charitable action or community service, to be able to mark Mr. Mandela’s 67 years of public service (some time which has his prison sentence, as well as his time as the lawyer, an campaigner and South Africa’s first black President).
Mr. Mandela’s daughter Zindzi was quoted as saying that her father was making “amazing development” reporting that he has been viewing hospital TV with headsets on. “We look forward to having him back in the home soon” she said.
Mandela’s partner, Graca Machel has said she is “less anxious” about his health than before. Today also marks the couple’s fifteenth wedding anniversary.
Mr. Mandela is mostly communicating together with his eyes and hands, but visitors often repeat that he’s smiling a great deal also.
Following a gift-giving ceremony with the Mamelodi Township, Mandela’s children will share a unique birthday lunch with him. The family have prepared 95 cupcakes in his honour.