“As your journey today ends, ours must continue,” President Jacob Zuma of South Africa told over 4 000 mourners at Nelson Mandela’s funeral service in Qunu on Sunday, December 16, 2013. Though Nelson Mandela has been laid to rest alongside his parents and his son at the family farm in Qunu, the small Eastern Cape village following a 10-day
Here are what some world leaders said about his life:
US President Barack Obama: “He achieved more than could be expected of any man.”
British PM David Cameron: “A great light has gone out in the world.”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu: “He was a unifier from the moment he walked out of prison. He taught us how to come together and believe in ourselves.”
UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon: “Nelson Mandela was a giant for justice and a down-to-earth human inspiration,”
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan: “A source of inspiration to oppressed peoples all over the world.”
Former US President Bill Clinton: “History will remember Nelson Mandela as a champion of human dignity and freedom, for peace and reconciliation.”
Ghana’s President John Mahama: “Mandela was the greatest African who ever lived”.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates: “His grace and courage changed the world. This is a sad day.”
Amnesty International Chief Salil Shetty: “His courage helped change our entire world.”
Brazilian football icon Pele: “He was one of the most influential people in my life. He was my hero, my friend, and also a companion to me in our fight for the people and for world peace”
WHAT SOME NIGERIANS ALSO SAID
President of the Senate, Senator David Mark: “It is my wish and hope that African people would emulate and sustain his legacies of forthrightness, commitment, honesty and uncommon selfless service to humanity”
Former president, Olusegun Obasanjo “In all situations, he lived nobly and died in nobility. Let us bear in mind that we all have the opportunity to act nobly in whatever position we find ourselves”.
Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, CAN president: “We will always remember him as a man with rare generosity of spirit and sympathy for whom renouncing bitterness and embracing opponents was not just a politically devised plan of action but a way of life”.
President, Campaign for Democracy, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin: “He is a rarest example of courage, a foremost apostle of freedom and a worthy elder to all humanity.”
Human Rights Lawyer, Jiti Ogunye: “He did not exploit his idolisation and the love of his people to build a financial empire for himself, he didn’t privatise public enterprises and sell them to himself; he didn’t rig elections; he didn’t attempt to amend the constitution in order to have a third term. He didn’t use his public life for private gains”.
Former EFCC chairman, Nuhu Ribadu: “Mandela exemplified practical lesson in purposeful leadership”
Prof. Patrick Utomi: “Mandela lived a life that was not about him, he lived the life of the people, and it was about service. He was the ultimate paradox. He did not think about himself because he was there for his people and not himself”