Lanterns float in America for Madiba
NEW YORK: At a themed bar in Brooklyn named for Nelson Mandela, mourners responding to news of the antiapartheid champion’s death gathered to launch lanterns and to consider how they would pay tribute.
The bar, taking its name from Mandela’s Xhosa clan name, decorated with huge Mandela posters and Zulu designs, has long been a home away from home for South Africans there – most fitting to come to when they heard the news.
“He is like a father to us. He taught us about forgiveness and peace,” said Michelle Andrews, 43, a Capetonian.
Carl Hlazo, 40, who was bor n i n Zimbabwe, but now l ives i n New York, said he planned to part his hair t o t he side, as Mandela once did, as a small t ribute.
New York-born teacher Andre Merriweather said: “In 500 years, if people are talking about our time, they’ll say we lived in the era of Nelson Mandela”.
Outside the bar, Denis du Preez, the bar’s co-owner and a South African, was arranging about two-dozen large white lanterns he planned to release in Mandela’s honour, a repeat of a tribute the bar organised on its namesake’s last birthday in July.
As the lanterns floated, onlookers cried out: “Viva Mandela!” – Reuters