The world pays tribute to the anti-apartheid politician

By Jeff Nelson
Updated December 05, 2014 07:00 PM
Credit: Getty

A year after revolutionary Nelson Mandela‘s death, people in his native South Africa and across the world are paying tribute to him.

The politician, who was the first black president in South Africa, died on Dec. 5, 2013. He was 95.

Friends and public figures took to social media Friday to commemorate the civil rights trailblazer.

“On the first anniversary of the death of #NelsonMandela, we remember that he chose reconciliation over retaliation,” Tweeted Reverend Jesse Jackson.

And around the world, communities are unveiling monuments in the social activist’s memory. In Cape Town, the latest memorial – a 30-foot pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers – has been met with bewilderment and scrutiny. Titled Perceiving Freedom, the giant sunglasses face Robben Island, where Mandela was jailed for almost 30 years.

According to the artist, Michael Elion, the work “links us to the mind of a man whose incredible capacity to transcend enduring physical hardship, with unwavering mental fortitude and dignity, transformed the consciousness of an entire country.”

Meanwhile, in Pretoria, South Africa, prison inmates at the Zonderwater have been crocheting blankets for a charity, 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day, in the former leader’s memory. (The organization refers to Mandela’s 67 years of service.)

“A lot of them want to make a difference. They want to do something for Nelson Mandela,” the charity’s founder, Carolyn Steyn, told Fox News of the inmates.

And on this side of the Atlantic, in Montreal, Nelson Mandela Pavilion was just inaugurated and will offer services as a community center.

“With the Negro Community Centre being torn down, I think the community has been looking for a place to call their home for their programming and services,” the neighborhood executive director, Tiffany Callendar, told Global News. “This is a demonstration of the city of Monteal’s commitment to working with us, but we are still striving to be independent and own our own buildings in due time.”