Crowds turn out to celebrate Nelson Mandela's birthday
July 18 marks the 95th birthday of former South African president and civil rights leader Nelson Mandela. The activist, who has been checked into Pretoria hospital since June 8 to treat a lung infection, has gained heartfelt messages and cheerful crowds around the world in honor of this monumental day.
According to the Los Angeles Times, singing, happy faces and peaceful crowds have gathered outside of the hospital where Mandela is staying, with a mix of adults and school children honoring the man who helped bring freedom and justice to their nation. While Mandela's condition was shaky, his daughter, Zindzi Mandela, told British news stations that his condition has been improving as of late and that she and other family members are planning to celebrate his birthday in the hospital.
Mandela's legacy runs much further than South Africa, as countless stars and sports figures have publicly offered their best wishes for the activist on his birthday.
CBC Sports reports golfer Tiger Woods discussed meeting Mandela while he geared up for the British Open, and followed up with pictures of their meeting on his birthday via Woods' Twitter page. FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, shared a letter he wrote to Mandela wishing him a happy birthday.
"Today, we remember your courageous fight against oppression and the inspirational example you set to others who are battling injustice," Blatter wrote in his message to South Africa's first democratic president. "May this message transmit to you all the energy, strength and goodwill of the football community as you continue your recovery from illness."
Are you inspired by Mandela? If so, how?