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Mandela, a symbol of strength

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

Mandela, a symbol of strength

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KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Jamaica government today described Nelson Mandela as a symbol of strength against inequality and injustice, as it joined the world in celebrating the 93rd birthday of the former South African president.
“Mandela is living proof that one determined life can reverse the tide of deprivation, prejudice and discrimination, so altering the trajectory of a country,” Foreign Affairs Minister Kenneth Baugh said in a statement.
“ Nelson Mandela has captured our imagination and demonstrated that physical bars cannot imprison a mind and heart intent on positively influencing change in the society. This is the life that has proven that difficult circumstances should not be seen as impediments to the fulfillment of one‚s potential for greatness.
“Jamaica salutes this living legend, this hero, whose strength of purpose ignited a world and broke the back of apartheid, and still today is a symbol of continuing strength against inequality and injustice. In reflecting on Mr Mandela‚s life and contribution to humanity, we are all challenged to emulate the actions of this great man striving for growth, development, peace, security and unity in this land we love,” he added.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked people worldwide to donate to charity, 67 minutes of their time today — one minute for every year of the South African’s own service to humanity.
In 2009, Mandela’s birthday was declared as an international day devoted to public service.
Mandela became South Africa’s first black president after spending 27 years in prison for his fight against apartheid, and was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.
Mandela’s public appearances have become increasingly rare, though he did appear at the closing ceremony of the World Cup one year ago.
Mandela’s increasingly frail health in recent months has alarmed a nation that is obsessed with his heroic contribution. Rumors have swirled of the former president’s death, or near demise. When he caught a cold this year, members of the media by the hundreds camped outside his hospital and home for weeks. (CMC)