Nelson Mandela, Nobel winner & peace advocate, has passed away at the age of 95

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Nelson Mandela passed away yesterday at the age of 95. The world is in mourning. Mandela’s health had been struggling for years, and he seemed particularly fragile this year after a lung infection left him hospitalized over the summer, and many doubted that he would survive past the fall. According to South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma, Mandela was surrounded by his friends and family at his home. President Zuma announced Mandela’s death in a nationally televised address, saying:

“Fellow South Africans, our beloved Nelson Rohlihlahla Mandela, the founding president of our democratic nation, has departed. Our people have lost a father. Although we knew this day was going to come, nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss. His tireless struggle for freedom earned him the respect of the world. His humility, passion and humanity, earned him their love.”

[Via Reuters]

Mandela will receive a state funeral in South Africa, and I suspect that every major world leader will be rearranging their schedules to pay their last respects, including (but not limited to) President Obama, Prime Minister David Cameron, Chancellor Merkel and probably President Putin too.

Mandela – or “Madiba” as he was known to friends – served as South Africa’s first black president from 1994 to 1999. He was in prison for 27 years (from 1962 to 1990) for passionately opposing apartheid. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 (jointly with FW de Klerk, the man who released Mandela from prison). After his tenure as president, he devoted himself to the AIDS crisis in Africa, education and anti-war advocacy. He lived an incredible life that I can barely touch upon – you can read his Wiki page here. Pres. Obama made a speech shortly after Mandela’s passing:

I know this is going to sound cheesy and cloying, but look at Mandela’s beautiful face. It makes me want to cry.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

 

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84 Responses to “Nelson Mandela, Nobel winner & peace advocate, has passed away at the age of 95”

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  1. tifzlan says:

    Farewell, Madiba! Your legacy remains.

  2. Frida_K says:

    Thank you for posting this.

    I love coming to the ‘bitchy in the morning for the snark but when it’s time to be serious (and some days, people’s comments are above all thought-provoking and wise), there are gems here. I love the pictures you chose, and they do make me want to cry.

    May he rest in peace after the very long, meaningful life that he had.

  3. LadySlippers says:

    *bows head in respect*

  4. Screamingpickle says:

    Kaiser, as a South African can I just make a correction- it is ‘Madiba’ and not MaNdiba- there is no ‘n’. Thank you.

    I never knew him and never got the chance to meet him, but I am grateful for the man he was and what he did for my country, and definitely feel the loss.

  5. LAK says:

    RIP Madiba.

    Not an uncontroversial life, but a meaningful one in the end.

    Thank you.

  6. Luca26 says:

    He is such an inspiring and brave man.
    I lack the proper words to thank him for what he has done for the entire world.

  7. klue says:

    We share the same birth date so for that reason I’ve always felt so connected to him. I actually felt like I had lost a family member when I heard the news yesterday.
    A truly remarkable man. An icon for peace & humility
    Rest in peace Sir..
    P.S. How idiotic was Paris Hilton’s tweet? I hope for her sake that was a fake account..otherwise..:(

  8. blue marie says:

    Farewell Sir, the world is a better place because you were here.

  9. LadyMTL says:

    It’s a rare person indeed who can change the face and the course of an entire nation, and he will be missed. RIP.

  10. Suze says:

    Rest easy, Madiba, after such a long and honorable journey.

  11. lenje says:

    May he rest in peace. It’s a great loss to the world.

  12. Mello says:

    You showed us the way Tata. Now it is time for the people of this country (and indeed the world) to take up your mantle and fight for equality for all. RIP

    • Kiddo says:

      +1

      RIP, may your legacy inspire others.

    • Penny says:

      +1000
      Also, I know there’s at least some percentage out there befuddled at the fact Mandela’s death did not garner as much attention as a Hollywood star. I call this – a heuristic bias: when you jump to a conclusion that an occurrence has more or less impact based on your own observations. If you are very active in social media which of course can be a function of time, money, resources and access, then you may fall prey to this bias. The media is good for sensationalizing and embellishing. So of course the more shocking, scandalous and salacious material make more headlines, i.e., a sudden violent car crash of a young sexy Hollywood star with unanswered questions.

      Mandela’s death was expected. He was 95. Although it can be argued 27 yrs of his life were stolen with a prison sentence, at least he lived long enough to see his grandchildren, fulfill his purpose, leave a legacy and very importantly – to say goodbye which seems to a luxury sometimes. (I say argue b/c doing time was part of how he established his persona however unintentional). So I posit there is a worldwide response on a grander scale but perhaps we may not feel the extent of it b/c some unmeasured response is due to the fact they (people) haven’t used measurable forums like Facebook, Twitter, etc. I doubt the news crews travelled to every corner of Africa to capture reactions.

  13. Sixer says:

    My parents were quite involved in the anti apartheid campaign and were pretty active in supporting it. They took me and my brother to the big concert at Wembley when we were kids. My mother cried like a baby when he was released from prison.

    I don’t know whether to smile or cry today. I love that South Africans mourn with singing and dancing, so I might do that. With my cat as nobody else is here.

    • Melymori says:

      Amazing memory!!!
      When I heard the news I was at work, I wanted to cry but couldn’t, but then an image of Madiba dancing with a happy face came to my mind and I knew that that is how his people and the whole world should mourn him, celebrating his extraordinary life and being grateful for what he did.

    • LAK says:

      I was child in London when my much older cousins took me to the free Mandela concert….that song has been playing in my head since he died.

      Of course being from Africa, i was already fully aware of him, but in a detached sort of way. Later when he was released, it really hit me what he had achieved, and today i feel very emotional about his death.

      And yes, we celebrate a person’s life when they die. As we do all other major life events. Though the free Mandela song isn’t quite the appropriate pick for this occasion, i am playing it with celebration.

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      @Sixer. Is your cat home yet?

      Mandela truly inspired an entire planet of people to rethink how they viewed each other. Not many could have done what he did and not been consumed by it. My deepest respect to him and his country.

  14. TheOriginalKitten says:

    One of the most sincere, unique, and heartfelt souls this earth has seen.
    A profound man that will be missed by all.
    RIP Nelson Mandells

  15. lucy2 says:

    What an extraordinary life. Rest in peace.

  16. KromBoom says:

    If you are touched by this and want to do one thing today – let a grievance go. (I’m trying.)

    This man had so much to be hateful for but he chose forgiveness. Amazing.

  17. chloe says:

    He’s was a great human being and will be missed. May he continue his greatness from heaven.

  18. CaribbeanLaura says:

    RIP. If I can be half the person he was and have half the strength he had… man this is making me tear up a little.

  19. BeckyR says:

    What a great man. SO glad he was blessed with a long life.

  20. Difna says:

    RIP Tata. Your legacy will live on. You showed Africa and the world how to love. Kenya mourns with you South Africa.

  21. fingerbinger says:

    R.I.P. Nelson Mandela.

  22. Janet says:

    RIP Madiba. You fought the good fight. God bless you.

  23. Violeta says:

    As an African my heart is aching…

    Madiba, may you rest in peace. The appalling instrumentalization of criminals dictators who praise you constantly, for thy forgiveness allowed them to continue to hide their conniving ways under the circumstances of a reconciliation… But you were outside all instrumentalisations, you were not a saint and you said so. Though I will never agree with many of your post apartheid political choices unlike the majority, you were the epitome of consistency and courage. And for that, it is my duty to honor you.

  24. Angelic 21 says:

    A collossal has died and he’ll never be forgotten. He might not be with us but his legacy will live on forever. He was not a saint but he let go of his hatred and accepted peace and love. He lead by example, he practised what he preached as the president. He is leaving a giant hole in the heart of humanity. Rest in peace Madiba.

    I have met him once, my father worked in 1 of the programmes of AIDS supported by him. It’s was 1 of the most auspicious day of my life. Me and my day are going to South Africa to pay our respect and attend his funeral.

  25. V4Real says:

    A man of peace
    A man of love
    A man of honor
    Rest in peace Mr. Mandela.

  26. Janet says:

    I know he was 95 and earned his well-deserved rest and is finally at peace with God, but there are some people you wish could live forever. Madiba was one of them. I am in tears.

  27. Dorothy says:

    *saying a prayer*

    RIP Mr. Mandela, your legacy lives on!

  28. larissa says:

    ah, white-washing….. there’s nothing else like it.

    • Elodie says:

      Nah he was no saint, he even said so, but the media and world put him as a symbol of hope and fight that somehow the dark side got “lost”, and though I vehemently disagreed with some of his politics, good AND bad should be acknowledged in the aspects of his life, making him the man he was.

    • Megan says:

      lord you are disgusting!

      This man was a truly great man who never claimed to be a saint, he has always owned up to his actions. And through those actions he changed the world. He is an inspiration, a model of strength, humility and courage.

      His death is a major loss to the world, and we should a honor the sacrifices he made for the world.

    • Africana says:

      I find comfort in the fact that you will never achieve in a million years half of what this great man achieved in his lifetime.

    • Maureen says:

      I was scrolling down to see if this would happen. Unfortunately, it’s not a message anyone wants to hear. The world desperately wants saints and people of extraordinary courage and action. When they find someone like that they will not easily let go even if what they believe or have been taught is a partially false narrative. I gave up long ago trying to have open and honest conversations about Nelson Mandela. I got over it by deciding that what people choose to believe about a person (whom they don’t even know) is their choice and really has no bearing on my life at the end of the day.

      • Sal says:

        I expected someone to drag up everything about him, because his detractors cannot have an open and honest conversation about his past without a thing called *perspective*. Something you seem to miss, Maureen. Mandela and his race were oppressed, and sometimes the only way to fight oppression is with similar tactics. Only with an UPRISING and RESISTENCE that Mandela led, were they able to crush apartheid. What you and your ilk are suggesting that if he wasn’t 100% pure peaceful doormat, then his achievements count for nought. You concentrate on how he got there, DISREGARDING that he had no choice, instead of the end result which is freedom for his countrymen. I find people like you who disregard nuance and perspective to be myopic and the one who cannot have an open and honest conversation because you are blinkered by the method and not looking at situational issues and nuance. Having a blinkered “but…but, but, butbutbut’ he did wrong things to achieve it” is simplistic andsimply is not conducive to mature, open and honest dialogue.

      • Sal says:

        Too late to edit my last post, but may I add:
        PS Almost every freedom has come about through struggle. Maybe we could ask the Native Indians how they feel about how America was colonised, for example. Yet the Pilgrims are held in high esteem by white people. As I said: perspective. Its a pertinent thing.

  29. lily says:

    RIP Mr Mandela. He’s a truly great human being.

  30. Common Sense says:

    I swear I have been crying what feels like the whole day. I have never meet Mandela in person but have such a deep connection to him, It is truly a sad day in S.A today but his legacy lives on. Because of Mandela I had the opportunity to go to University and am studying towards becoming an Archaeologist, something that would have been just a dream in Apartheid South Africa.

    ” The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement” – Nelson Mandela

  31. AG says:

    Extraordinary human being. RIP.

  32. Shannon1972 says:

    God bless you, Mr. Mandela. After a life bravely lived, may you rest in peace. You won’t be forgotten.

  33. Elise says:

    Condolences to President Mandela and his family. May he rest in peace.

  34. Megan says:

    “no one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart that its opposite.” Nelson Mandela

    Rest in Peace

  35. hannah* says:

    I was 7 years old when Madiba became our first democratically elected president. I don’t remember anything about that time and I’ll always be a little sad about that. I was too young to fully comprehend and appreciate the significance of what was happening around me. I also grew up in an all white, racist bubble, so as a young girl no one bothered to draw my attention to the fact that a miracle was taking place and that I was witnessing world history in the making. Nevertheless I feel lucky and grateful to be able to say that Nelson Mandela lived, was released from prison and became President during my lifetime. I almost feel special to have been alive at the same time as him and to have shared this earth with him. He was one of the greatest human beings to ever walk this earth and his legacy will live on forever. I have always considered “father of the nation” to be the most apt description of Madiba, because as South Africans we didn’t love him like a president, many of us loved him almost like a father.

  36. Han says:

    RIP the greatest statesman of our time. I am so sad by his passing but also so inspired by his legacy. A truly outstanding contribution to humanity.

  37. Zizi says:

    A truely magnificient man.
    An extraordinary leader.
    A great revolutionary.
    A colossus with a most beautiful soul.
    Rest in Perfect Peace Madiba!

  38. nicegirl says:

    A sound and peaceful rest to you, guide, seeker and teacher of peace.

  39. Lala says:

    An amazing man we all have so much to learn from how he lead his life! May he rest in peace.

  40. CM says:

    A true leader, a study in defining one’s self-worth, holding fast to your ideals, and forgiveness. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!

  41. Snazzy says:

    An activist, a revolutionary, a hero. We have lost one of the greats.

  42. monique says:

    So sad.

    On my way home from college today, the bus was so quiet. Which is a shocker because its ALWAYS noisy. Everyone is mourning the loss of our dear Tata.

    Yesterday was such a happy day for me. I’ve landed my dream job and my celebrations had to come to an end because our beloved Tata has passed on.

    That being said, we have to celebrate his live. He has done so much for us. He inspired our nation. He inspired the world.

    I’m amazed; what a hero

    Thanks Tata, for everything you have done for us.

    Thanks Kaiser for this article, and everyone for sharing their kind comments. <3

  43. homegrrrrl says:

    Why do people have the audacity to hail Ronald Regan as one of the best US presidents…he refused to even acknowledge apartheid let alone create sanctions against the south african govmnt at the time…I am humiliated to be an American when his hologram is toured in republican conventions.

    • Maureen says:

      I think that is a simplistic reading of history. I am sorry. I’m saying this has diplomatically as I can. The situation was absolutely NOT that simple and I really resent — as an American — this accusation against President Reagan. Even though I’m not a supporter of President Obama, if 35 years from now one of his decisions was described as shameful and summed up in one sentence I would defend him. Politics are complicated, and even more complicated on an international scale. Things are RARELY ever so black and white that you could sum up multi-layered events with a one-sentence accusation.

      I do not want to argue the finer points. But below are excerpts from Reagan’s diary that show his feelings were intense and conflicted about this issue. God, it’s damn hard to lead a nation and even damn harder when the ENTIRE WORLD is watching and judging your every word and action.

      http://www.showbiz411.com/2013/08/17/reagan-diaries-detested-apartheid-but-refused-to-support-sanctions-never-mentions-mandela

      BTW, I’m not endorsing the website this link is from. I’m not familiar with it. I just want to share the diary quotes on this topic.

    • Sal says:

      Then there was his refusal to even acknowledge the AIDS epidemic or fund research. If Reagan is seen as a beacon by the Republicans, then they are truly scraping the bottom of the barrel, he was one of the most damaging Presidents in American history.

  44. MavenTheFirst says:

    I don’t know much about Mandela except for his strife, imprisonment and release. And his endless perseverance. I was just reading on HuffPost that he was on the US terrorist list till 2007. Go figure.

  45. Tara says:

    Such beauty, strength and vital force of love. May his spirit linger and grow.

  46. Jinx says:

    What is a saint? Someone who was perfect? How about someone who rose above his imperfections and tried to do the right thing as best he knew? The fact that South Africa did not experience the predicted blood bath, yeah, I give him a great deal of the credit. His words and actions are my mentor and he is a saint to me.