South Africa’s first black president, Nelson ‘Tata’ Mandela, celebrated his 92nd birthday Sunday, with pleasant wishes from people all over the world.
Individuals in South Africa and elsewhere planned to do 67 minutes of community service Sunday, a length of time chosen to honour the number of years Mr. Mandela spent in politics.
Earlier this week the United Nations had its first ever “Nelson Mandela International Day,” an unprecedented honour for a living political figure.
Mr. Mandela and his family had a private celebration at his home outside of Johannesburg Sunday. He heard a birthday song performed by 92 children, who were flown from his native village of Mvezo.
Speaking at a ceremony in Mvezo, President Jacob Zuma said Mr. Mandela taught South Africans to overcome hatred and embrace reconciliation.
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate led the struggle to bring down South Africa’s system of white minority rule and discrimination against blacks. In 1994, he became the country’s first black president.
Mr. Mandela is rarely seen in public these days but appeared briefly before the World Cup final in Johannesburg last Sunday, riding around the field and waving to fans from a golf cart.