Qunu residents mark 5th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s death

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It was business as usual for the community of Qunu in the Eastern Cape and surrounding areas, as the country marks the 5th anniversary of the passing of Nelson Mandela.

The day was commemorated with a peace walk from Madiba’s Qunu home, aimed at reviving his spirit and spreading peace.

The turnout was disappointing but those who made the effort, walked in his footsteps. Young and old say five years after Madiba’s death, his values of Ubuntu still resonate within them.

“I enjoyed this walk because it is aimed at empowering us about Madiba.  We enjoyed it despite the uphills on the road,” said one of the participants.

Candles were lit to rekindle acts of selflessness, patriotism and Ubuntu among South Africans.  “We continue to do these events and a lot has been said about Madiba this year. We can only hope that people will start to act now so that the lives of the people can be improved,” said Nelson Mandela Museum’s Bonke Tyulu.

Mandela family’s Thoko Mandela said, “As a family member we recommit ourselves to his values. He stood for peace, reconciliation and today it makes us realise that many people still love him even though he is no longer with us. This makes us do more. ”

The grave of the late statesman is still closed to the public. This is a bone of contention, with locals saying it will be a massive tourist attraction that can uplift the community.

“We are still in planning stages about making Madiba’s grave a monument. But I want to appeal to Qunu people to be patient and must not panic. Once the monument is done they won’t regret waiting this long because it will be a monument befitting the standard of Madiba, “said Eastern Cape Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture MEC Bulelwa Tunyiswa.

Various events are planned to celebrate the life and times of this global icon.

Nelson Mandela — died at the age of 95 at his Johannesburg home. The whole world watched as thousands paid their respects to the former statesman, who sacrificed 27 years of his life in prison so that South Africa could be free.