Shelby: Nelson Mandela dedicated his life to fighting for freedom and justice. And over the weekend, people from around the world paused to pay tribute to the international icon. In the streets, South Africans honored their former president Nelson Mandela with traditional songs and dances, choosing to celebrate his life.
Shaazia Moolla: He’s an icon. He’s a great man.
Sihle Dladla: I will always remember Nelson Mandela Rolihlahla for standing for freedom. Even if I wasn’t there, I will still remember the story and I will pass it on to my children and my grandchildren.
Shelby: Mandela was a civil rights legend, devoting his life to ending racism and oppression in South Africa.
Mark Diesel: I’m so happy that there was a man like that – that we were blessed with a man like that – that brought about this South Africa that I can live in, and I can be friends with anyone. There’s no issue of boundaries or race. It’s so beautiful to live in this country.
Shelby: Mandela’s impact was felt outside of the country too. And leaders from around the world paid their respects to a man whose leadership will be greatly missed.
The Dalai Lama: We must translate that sadness into determination. We must carry his spirit continuously.
Prime Minister David Cameron: One of the brightest lights of our world has gone out.
President Obama: He blessed us with tremendous grace and unbelievable courage.
Shelby: Dozens of world leaders, including four U.S. presidents, are heading to South Africa for a memorial service. And yesterday, a national day of prayer and reflection kicked off a series of events that will lead to one of the biggest funerals in modern times.
People from all walks of life are here to pay tribute to the late Nelson Mandela. And even though young people may not remember his walk to freedom or his election as president, they feel it is their responsibility to carry on his great legacy.
Hannah Blunden: If we can just follow in his footsteps and try as hard as we can to be like him, then we can really change the world.
Yohane Chawsweka: We’ve got a lot more things to do, to achieve, to make this place a better place for everyone.
Shelby: To learn more about Mandela’s life and legacy, head over to Channelone.com.