South-Africans, Nigerians, Ghanaians, other Africans and friends of Africa living in New York, celebrated Nelson Mandela’s 93rd birthday.
Watch the highlight of the celebration:
The event, which was organized by Global Information Network in collaboration with SaharaReporters.com, had about 60 people in attendance. Three panelists talked about the legacy of the freedom fighter who was imprisoned for 27 years during apartheid in South-Africa.
“The most important legacy that Mandela has left for all of us, is the believe and the hope that there can be a different world, that people of different races can live together and share a common space,” said Tseliso Thipanyane, former director of South-African Human Rights Commission.
“We looked to South-Africa, we still do. To provide a leadership, to be a beacon on the hill for human rights and democracy in the rest of Africa,” said Peter Godwin, a Zimbabwean journalist who was reporting from Soweto during the apartheid.
“The Africans in South-Africa destabilized it economically in order to free themselves. It is the black Africans that freed themselves!” said Les Payne, an American journalist who also reported from Soweto on the segregation in the 70s.
However, with the celebration came some concerns about the present state of South-Africa.
“The sad thing is that our current leaders are not really upholding Mandela’s legacy, they are not really living to the ideals which Mandela stood for,” added Thipanyane.
Godwin agreed with him, saying “That is one of the reasons that South-Africa faces challenges today, in terms of the index of socio economic inequality, South Africa now ranks the highest in the world.”
Nelson Mandela was released from prison on February 11, 1990. He has fathered six children, has twenty grandchildren, and a growing number of great-grandchildren.