International

WATCH: South Africa Celebrates Mandela's 95th Birthday

Schoolchildren sing 'Happy Birthday' to former South African President Nelson Mandela at Phefeni High School, opposite Mandela's former home in Soweto Township on Thursday in Johannesburg, South Africa. i i

Schoolchildren sing 'Happy Birthday' to former South African President Nelson Mandela at Phefeni High School, opposite Mandela's former home in Soweto Township on Thursday in Johannesburg, South Africa. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Schoolchildren sing 'Happy Birthday' to former South African President Nelson Mandela at Phefeni High School, opposite Mandela's former home in Soweto Township on Thursday in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Schoolchildren sing 'Happy Birthday' to former South African President Nelson Mandela at Phefeni High School, opposite Mandela's former home in Soweto Township on Thursday in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

It's a bittersweet day in South Africa today: Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid icon who many consider the country's father, is celebrating his 95th birthday. But he is doing so from a hospital bed in Pretoria.

There is good news, however: As Mark reported yesterday, Mandela's daughter Zindzi says he's made "remarkable progress" and could be released from the hospital soon. The South African presidency released a statement Thursday saying Mandela was "steadily improving."

The BBC reports that across South Africa, Mandela was honored with songs, prayers and acts of service.

The AP has video of the scene:

YouTube

NPR's Jason Beaubien hit the streets and asked South Africans what they'll remember of Mandela.

Listen to the Story

Loading…

Listen to the Story

The New York Times did something similar. They asked South Africans what Mandela means to them:

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.