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Thursday, July 18, 2013

South Africa Marks Nelson Mandela’s Birthday

Jason Beaubien/Twitter)" href="//s3.amazonaws.com/media.wbur.org/wordpress/11/files/2013/07/0718_mandela-birthday.jpg">Children sing to Nelson Mandela on his 95th birthday in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Jason Beaubien/Twitter)

Children sing to Nelson Mandela on his 95th birthday in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Jason Beaubien/Twitter)

Millions of children across South Africa sang “Happy Birthday” to Nelson Mandela today as he turns 95.

People around the world are joining South Africans in celebrating his life.

British entrepreneur Richard Branson is among those volunteering 67 minutes in their communities, to honor the 67 years Mandela gave to the struggle against apartheid and creating a new South Africa.

In New York’s Times Square, South African artist Paul Blomkamp is showing his giant portrait of Mandela, which he says was inspired by the leaders great energy.

Mandela himself is in the hospital where he has been since June with a recurring lung ailment, but reports say that his health, which had been described as critical but stable, is improving.

His illness has intensified a bitter family struggle over Mandela’s legacy and inheritance.

Mandela helped create a post-apartheid South Africa, and he is still very much in South African minds, despite having left public life over a decade ago.

How are South Africans feeling about their country’s progress since the end of Apartheid, and what is South Africa’s role in the region today?

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