News / Africa

Flowers, Tributes Outside Mandela Home Showcase Rainbow Nation

Ten-year-old Jason tells reporter Thuso Khumalo about how he met Nelson Mandela, Houghton, Dec. 8, 2013. (Jennie Smith for VOA)Ten-year-old Jason tells reporter Thuso Khumalo about how he met Nelson Mandela, Houghton, Dec. 8, 2013. (Jennie Smith for VOA)
x
Ten-year-old Jason tells reporter Thuso Khumalo about how he met Nelson Mandela, Houghton, Dec. 8, 2013. (Jennie Smith for VOA)
Ten-year-old Jason tells reporter Thuso Khumalo about how he met Nelson Mandela, Houghton, Dec. 8, 2013. (Jennie Smith for VOA)
A veritable mountain of flowers, condolence cards and burning candles have piled up outside Nelson Mandela’s house in Johannesburg's northern suburbs, as thousands of people continue to mourn the iconic leader, who died last week.

The riotously colorful flowers - and the diverse group of people delivering them - truly illustrate what Mandela affectionately dubbed “the Rainbow Nation.”

Mandela died Thursday at the age of 95, after a longtime battle with a recurring lung infection.

The flowers mirror South Africa’s colourful flag: green, yellow, red and white flowers dominate, while blue and purple refuse to be overshadowed.  


Nelson Mandela Memorial ObservancesNelson Mandela Memorial Observances
x
Nelson Mandela Memorial Observances
Nelson Mandela Memorial Observances
Meaningful remembrances

Hundreds of messages left by mourners add meaning.

A message from Alessio reads, “You will never be forgotten.” Dharma Naidoo and his family wrote, “Thank you for the job well done.” A yellow T-shirt hanging on the flowers summed it up: “Thank you for making South Africa a better place.”

Hundreds of candles burn next to the flowers. Those who bring them say they are a symbol of peace, signifying the brightness they saw in Nelson Mandela’s life.

Zizipho Sogawula works in the suburb of Houghton, not far from Mandela’s house. During tea break on Monday morning she decided to walk to the house, and like many others, the flowers and burning candles attracted her attention.
 
“It’s touching. There are actually hundreds of candles here. They are still burning and it means that his spirit still lives on," said Sogawula. "It’s only when you are here that you really get emotional seeing all these tributes and all these flowers from everyone. I think it’s very admirable, I like it.”

Flowers are piled up outside Nelson Mandela's Houghton home in Johannesburg, Dec. 8, 2013. (Thuso Khumalo for VOA)Flowers are piled up outside Nelson Mandela's Houghton home in Johannesburg, Dec. 8, 2013. (Thuso Khumalo for VOA)
x
Flowers are piled up outside Nelson Mandela's Houghton home in Johannesburg, Dec. 8, 2013. (Thuso Khumalo for VOA)
Flowers are piled up outside Nelson Mandela's Houghton home in Johannesburg, Dec. 8, 2013. (Thuso Khumalo for VOA)
Enormous outpouring

Tracy Nail and her two daughters, Jody and Emma, added three bunches of flowers to the pile. “I brought my girls here to put flowers down for Madiba [Mandela's clan name], because I feel that it’s very important that they know the history of our country. I think his death has unified us all again and helped us to be more positive about the future and just make us remember everything that he stood for and how important it is to just keep on believing in that.”

Ten-year-old Jason Smith came with his mother to deliver flowers and an enlarged photograph of himself, his brother Kevin and Nelson Mandela, taken two years ago when his family visited the world icon at his Qunu home.

Smith said the memory of that visit is still fresh in his mind. “I saw the security guards and then his grandson called me and my family to meet him, and he was lying down in his chair, I felt so happy that I saw Nelson Mandela, I’m so sad that he passed away,” he said.

Some 80,000 people are expected to fill up a massive soccer stadium in Johannesburg’s Soweto suburb on Tuesday for Mandela’s memorial service.

His body will then lie in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria for three days, before being laid to rest Sunday at Mandela’s rural home in Qunu, in the Eastern Cape Province.

  • Mourners sing outside the home of Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, Dec. 9, 2013.
  • People leave messages for Nelson Mandela on a memorial site adorned with South African flags on trees, in Rosebank, an affluent district of Johannesburg, Dec. 9, 2013.
  • A painting of Nelson Mandela surrounded by Martin Luther King, Mohandas Gandhi, John F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill and Barack Obama is fixed on top of flowers outside his home in Johannesburg, Dec. 9, 2013.
  • Nearly two old boy Kiran rests on a teddy bear in the flowers laying in front of the house of Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, Dec. 9, 2013.
  • A man reaches to for his daughter held by her mother, while workers line up outside the FNB stadium where the memorial service for Nelson Mandela will take place on Tuesday, Johannesburg, Dec. 9, 2013.
  • Workers line up outside the FNB stadium where the memorial service for South Africa President Nelson Mandela will take place on Tuesday, Johannesburg, Dec. 9, 2013.
  • The face of Nelson Mandela and his clan name Madiba is projected onto the face of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa Dec. 8, 2013.

You May Like

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: MEMORY NJ from: Forest Hill
December 11, 2013 5:11 PM
RIP TATA WE LUV YOU

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More