The US President, Barack Obama, has been paying homage to former South African President, Nelson Mandela, who is currently hospitalized for lung infection. President Obama who is on a three day nation visit to Africa, is currently in South Africa and has met with leaders, youths and family of Mandela. He visited Senegal, before going to South Africa, and would head for Tanzania tomorrow after visiting Robben Island, where Mandela spent most of his prison term during the apartheid.
His words; “For me to be able to bring my daughters there and teach them the history of that place and this country … that’s a great privilege and a great honour. The struggle here against apartheid, for freedom, Madiba’s moral courage, his country’s historic transition to a free and democratic nation, has been a personal inspiration to me. It has been an inspiration to the world.
“Think about 27 years in prison … there were dark moments that tested his faith in humanity, but he refused to give up…Our thoughts, and those of Americans, and people all around the world are with Nelson Mandela and his family. The triumph of Mandela speaks to something deep in human spirit; a yearning for justice and dignity which transcends … bounds of race. We as leaders occupy these spaces temporarily and we don’t get so deluded that we think the fate of our country doesn’t depend on how long we stay in office.’
President Obama when in Dakar, said, “He (Nelson Mandela) is a personal hero, but I’m not unique in that regard…I think he’s a hero for the world and if/when he passes, we know his legacy will linger on throughout the ages.”