July 18, 2008

Mandela’s 90th is a World Party

BIRTHDAY greetings from admirers ranging from politicians to pop stars to members of the public were pouring in for Nelson Mandela, who turned 90 today.

As celebrations take place around the world, South Africa's first black president was marking the milestone at a party for 500 guests in his home village.

In London, fans were gathering next to Mr Mandela's statue in Parliament Square to hold up birthday cards to create a giant South Africanf flag.

Other tributes in the UK include the flying of the South African flag outside council buildings; giant birthday cards available for the public to sign in Nottingham and Manchester; and parties featuring South African cuisine and dancing in Cambridge, Leicester, Leeds, Reading and Glasgow.

Mr Mandela's birthday has also prompted the unveiling of commemorative memorabilia, including a series of stamps, a five- rand coin, and bangles engraved with 46664, the name of his HIV/ Aids charity.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation launched of a 240-page coffee table book on the man who led the drive to end Apartheid.

Politicians, musicians and sporting heroes have posted birthday wishes on happybirthdaymandela.com.


(c) 2008 Evening Mail; Birmingham (UK). Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.