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South African President Jacob Zuma has led the official Nelson Mandela Day celebrations in the isolated village in the country's Eastern Cape where Mandela was born.
Speaking to local dignitaries and attendees, Zuma wished Mandela a happy birthday and called him a "true humanitarian."
Jacob Zuma, South African President, said, "It is not surprising that today we honor him jointly with the world. Sixty seven years of active contribution to a better South Africa has been recognized by the United Nations and is being celebrated as Nelson Mandela Day for the first time this year. We thank the world for never ceasing to recognize the successes of this nation."
During his speech, Zuma called for all African nations to work together. He said the just concluded 2010 South African World Cup presented the world with a united South Africa.
The spirit of unity and friendship displayed during the World Cup should be kept in the heart of the South African people. Thousands of locals converged on Mvelo Royal Palace in the rural Eastern Cape province of South Africa on Sunday, to join the celebration. Mandela himself was not present and celebrated quietly at home with his family.
Also China joined in the celebration. Beijing celebrated with China's UNDP branch,by teaming up with YAPS (Young African Professionals in China) for a film screening about Mandela's life at the Bookworm cafe.