Turned 95 on July 18, 2013. We went round the world to get reactions from world leaders and people on the street. Excerpts.
VIWE MVITSHANE, student: Happy birthday, Tata Nelson Mandela. We are all praying for you to get better soon.
PRESIDENT JACOB ZUMA, South Africa: What is being done by everybody today, to take some time and do something for people in honor of Madiba. That’s why we came today, to do our own here.
WOMAN: It’s important for me, because it’s like I am doing something. Like, for example, I sleep every day with a meal. And there are people out there who don’t have anything meal to eat. So, for me, it’s like, wow, it’s something that I do for someone who doesn’t have anything.
ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU: And, today, people are thinking about Madiba because it is international Madiba day. And he makes us walk tall as South Africans and reminds us that we have the capacity to be this fantastic nation.
DALAI LAMA, exiled Tibetan spiritual leader: I would like to express my — firstly, my admiration about the great man Nelson Mandela.
FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: We have all equally been awed by his dedication to others and by his inspiration to serve as he did, working to build a more just and peaceful world.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, US House Speaker: Scarcely, a week or day goes by without us pointing to Mandela as an example, an example of standing on principle, of loving your neighbor, and of extending the reach of freedom.
REP. NANCY PELOSI, US House Democratic Leader: He had the courage to turn, not to hatred, but to love, not to vengeance, but to compassion, not to resentment, but to reconciliation.
ZINDZI MANDELA, daughter of Nelson Mandela: Over the past three weeks or so, I have just seen a huge turnaround. Of course, I am not a medical doctor. They are the ones who will decide or determine when he goes back home, but I am confident it will be some time soon.