"I'm sure he is full of joy"
Hundreds of people, led by the group of Elders, had gathered in the Cape Town CBD on Tuesday afternoon for a symbolic march on Nelson Mandela International Day to honour the global icon and also to launch a new global project, “Walk Together”.
Led by Mandela’s widow, Graca Machel, the Elders, accompanied by a large group of local residents, had gathered at the Cape Town City Hall, where Mandela made his first speech on his release from prison in 1990, and were set to walk to the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
Machel took to the podium and said “thank you so much for your presence here”, before leading the crowd in a song wishing Madiba, who died in 2013, a happy birthday.
The Elders, a group of global leaders founded by Mandela, and made up of former heads of state, peace activists, and human rights advocates, including Kofi Annan, Ban Ki-moon, Desmond Tutu, Graca Machel, Jimmy Carter, Hina Jilani, Mary Robinson, and Ernesto Zedillo among others, is also celebrating a decade since its founding.
Former Irish President Robinson and international business tycoon Sir Richard Branson were among the luminaries in attendance for the march.
Machel said the march was aimed at commemorating ten years since the founding of the Elders who had been brought together by Mandela. “He brought together women and men, wise people, who could become a moral voice which we need more and more,” she said, adding that the Elders were “here to stand up for the values of peace, justice, equality and health”. Speaking of Mandela, Machel told the crowd: “I’m sure wherever he is, he is full of joy.”
– African News Agency (ANA)