MANDELA’s final journey home….

Mandela’s final journey home….

Special to USAfricaonline.comCLASSmagazine,  and USAfrica multimedia networks, Houston.        Follow Twitter.com/Chido247,  Facebook.com/USAfricaChido

On a final journey to his home village where he had wanted to spend his final days, the remains of Nelson Mandela were honored amid pomp and ceremony on Saturday at an air base in South Africa’s capital before being loaded nelson_mandela_waves1onto a plane.

At the airport near Mandela’s simple village of Qunu in eastern South Africa, there was a buzz of activity, with military vehicles including SUVs and armoured personnel carriers driving around as anticipation built over the coming-home of South Africa’s most famous figure. Soldiers in full gear, male and female, were stationed on foot on either side of the road from the airport in Mthatha. Some civilians were also already lining route, shielding themselves from the sun with umbrellas.

Mandela had longed to spend his final months in his beloved rural village but instead he had spent them in a hospital in Pretoria and then in his home in Johannesburg where he had remained in critical condition, suffering from lung problems and other ailments, until his death.

At a solemn ceremony at Waterkloof air base in Pretoria that was broadcast live on South African television, a multi-faith service and a musical tribute to Mandela were held. President Jacob Zuma praised Mandela in a detailed recounting of the struggle against racist white rule. He also described Mandela coming to Johannesburg from the countryside as a young man and bringing discipline and vision to the long and difficult anti-apartheid movement.

Mr. Zuma led the group in song after his speech.

The flag-draped coffin was accompanied by a military honour guard as it was slowly transferred onto a military plane for transport to the Eastern Cape.

Mandela’s widow Graca Machel, wearing black, wept and wiped tears from under her glasses. Mandela’s former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, looking stricken, was also there as well as Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and former South African President Thabo Mbeki. Other members of the extended Mandela family also attended.

Mandela’s favourite poem, “Invictus”, was printed on the back of the program.

Mandela’s casket is expected to arrive at Mthatha on Saturday afternoon, greeted by a full military ceremony. Rituals will also be performed before a motorcade takes the casket from Mthatha to Qunu.

The public has been invited to view the cortege as it makes its way to Qunu. The body will be taken to the Mandela homestead, where more rituals will be performed.

A night vigil by the ANC is planned at Walter Sisulu University in Mthatha on Saturday, with party leaders and government officials honouring Mandela on the eve of his burial.

The late president died in his Johannesburg home Dec. 5 at age 95. ref: AP?wire services/

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Mandela_Achebe_book-by-Chido_2013_cover-Lrs

MANDELA & ACHEBE: Footprints of GreatnessForthcoming 2014 BOOK: In this engaging, uniquely insightful and first person reportage book, MANDELA & ACHEBE: Footprints of Greatness, about two global icons and towering persons of African descent whose exemplary lives Mandela_Achebe_book-by-Chido_2013_cover-Lrsand friendship hold lessons for humanity and Africans, USAfrica Founder Chido Nwangwu takes a measure of their works and consequence to write that Mandela and Achebe have left “footprints of greatness.”

He chronicles, movingly, his 1998 reporting from the Robben Island jail room in South Africa where Mandela was held for decades through his 20 years of being close to Achebe. He moderated the 2012 Achebe Colloquium at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.“I’ll forever remember having walked inside and peeped through that historic Mandela jail cell (where he was held for most of his 27 years in unjust imprisonment) at the dreaded Robben Island, on March 27, 1998, alongside then Editor-in-chief of TIME magazine and later news chief executive of the CNN, Walter Isaacson (and others) when President Bill Clinton made his first official trip to South Africa and came to Robben Island. Come to this island of scourge and you will understand, in part, the simple greatness and towering grace of Nelson Mandela”, notes  Chido Nwangwu, award-winning writer, multimedia specialist and founder of USAfricaonline.com, the first African-owned U.S-based newspaper published on the internet, in his first book; he writes movingly from his 1998 reporting from South Africa on Mandela. http://www.mandelaachebechido.com/

 

Long Live, CHINUA ACHEBE! The Eagle on the iroko.                    

FULL text of this tribute-commentary at USAfricaonline.com click link  http://usafricaonline.com/2013/03/22/long-live-chinua-achebe-by-chido-nwangwu

ACHEBE Lives As an Immortal Writer In Our Hearts and Minds. By Chido Nwangwu.                USAfrica, May 22, 2013: http://usafricaonline.com/2013/05/22/achebe-lives-as-an-immortal-writer-by-chido-nwangwu/

ThisDay  Sunday May 26, 2013.  http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/achebe-lives-as-an-immortal-writer-in-our-hearts-and-minds/148550/

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Eight lessons of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica multimedia networks, Houston.   http://usafricaonline.com/2009/11/01/chido-8lessons-rwanda-genocide/

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Margaret Thatcher, Mandela and Africa.  By Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfrica, and the first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com. Click for newscast video of London-based SkyNEWS, the global, 24-hour British international tv network’s interview with USAfrica’s Publisher Chido Nwangwu on April 11, 2013 regarding this latest commentary http://youtu.be/G0fJXq_pi1c )

There’s a compelling political trinity to Nelson Mandela: the man, the messiah and the mystique. http://usafricaonline.com/2013/07/18/mandela-95-hearty-cheers-to-his-footprints-of-greatness-by-chido-nwangwu/

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Obama’s Africa agenda, our business and democracy. By Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfrica and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com

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Margaret Thatcher, Mandela and Africa.  By Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfrica, and the first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com. Click for newscast video of London-based SkyNEWS, the global, 24-hour British international tv network’s interview with USAfrica’s Publisher Chido Nwangwu on April 11, 2013 regarding this latest commentary http://youtu.be/G0fJXq_pi1c )

Dancing with “ghosts” of BOKO HARAM, President Jonathan, Sultan Abubakar and Nigeria’s national security. By Dr. Chido Nwangwu

http://usafricaonline.com/2013/04/05/dancing-with-ghosts-of-boko-haram-president-jonathan-sultan-abubakar-and-nigerias-national-security-by-chido-nwangwu/

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Why Obama’s late to symbolic, historic meeting with Mandela.  By Chido Nwangwu.   http://usafricaonline.com/2013/06/26/obamas-late-to-symbolic-historic-meeting-with-fit-mandela-by-chido-nwangwu/

POPE FRANCIS, champion for the poor and evangelistic dedication’ by Chido Nwangwu

 

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