Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday was celebrated by South Africans with giant cakes, mass rendition of “Happy Birthday” and 67 minutes of good deeds today. However, the former South African president spent his day in a quite manner at his home in the village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape with his family.
The 67 minutes of public service on his birthday was performed basically to honor the public service he has done for his people all his life.
Mandela, who is known for his years of struggle for the African people, now spends most of his time privately at his home. Although he has minimized his public appearances to none, his birthday celebration has grown manifold over the years.
On his birthday, his family and closed ones gathered to have a meal and champagne, along his favorite dish of tripe, a meat delicacy.
A day before his 94th birthday, former U.S. President Bill Clinton and his daughter, Chelsea, had lunch with him in the small southeastern village where he grew up and spent most of his time.
Clinton later expressed that he was glad to have visited his wonderful friend after a long time. He expressed his experience with Mandela in these words: "He didn't call me a single time, not once, when he didn't ask about Hillary (Clinton) and Chelsea," Clinton said of their conversations during their time in office. "If it wasn't too late, he'd ask me to go get Chelsea, bring her to the phone, and ask about her homework." Clinton said the anti-apartheid icon never lost touch with his humanity.
"I saw in him something that I try not to lose in myself, which is no matter how much responsibility you have, he remembered you were a person first," he said.
The incumbent U.S. President Barrack Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, also paid their heartiest tribute to the African leader on his birthday.
Mr. Mandela relieved himself from presidential office in 1999 after serving a successful term, handing it over to Thabo Mbeki. His struggle for black Africans helped them to caste vote in 1994 for the first time. He then led the African national congress party to a massive victory in 1994.