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Africans Wish Mandela Well, Share Thoughts On Ailing Icon

posted 12 Jun 2013, 04:24 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 12 Jun 2013, 04:25 ]

Africans share well wishing messages for an ailing Nelson Mandela who faces a fifth day in hospital. The former South African president and anti-apartheid leader remains in a "serious but stable" condition in a Pretoria hospital for treatment of a lung infection.

 DAKARSENEGAL (JUNE 11, 2013) (REUTERS) - Africans across the continent are closely following the health status of former South African president and anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela, whose condition remained unchanged at "serious but stable" on Wednesday (June 12).

Mandela, who is spending his fifth day in hospital for a recurring lung infection, continues to receive close care from doctors.

Mandela, a global symbol of triumph over adversity and of reconciliation who became South Africa's first black leader in 1994 after the defeat of apartheid, was hospitalised early on Saturday when his already frail health worsened.

He is seen as an icon of freedom, liberation and tolerance across Africa.

"He's a very important man for Africans. He has done a lot for Africans. All of Africawishes him a long life - 140 or 150 years," Amadou Deme, a street vendor in Dakar.

"He likes everyone. Arabs, whites, blacks, children, women. He is at the hospital and he is scarily sick, I pray to God that he gets better - with his relatives, his family, like before," said Youssouf Sow, also in Dakar.

"Truly, his health worries me, it worries me a lot, because of his age. As soon as I saw that on the internet, I was troubled. I was upset. Because really, I have always thought of his death, which will cause of course a lot of shockwaves in Africa, and for everyone in the entire world," said Lansana Sylla, a student in Dakar.

In Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the mood was also sombre and anxious.

"We are all worried at the moment, because he is someone who is dear to us, the separation will be very painful," said Honore Mukoka.

"As the saying goes in Africa, when an elder dies, it's like a whole library goes up in flames. We would like for him to stay around a little longer, even if doesn't talk, just being able to see him will remind us of how much he fought for Africa," said Zakary Basilla.

Ivorians followed the news of the ailing icon on the internet after as it rained heavily in the capital Abidjan as newspaper vendors sought shelter.

"My wish is for God to give him strength and good health, to hang on for a six more years, it's will be a beautiful gift to Africa," said Landry Amin in Abidjan.

"His presence reassures many people, his presence inspires many people. In African tradition, when you love someone , when you love a parent or an elder, you always pray for them no matter how old they are, or how sick they are so that the person can always stay with us," said Placide Konan.

In Kenya, people said they were willing to accept the will of God for Mandela.

"It is always about God but for us, we respect him and we pray for him that he may have a quick recovery, and if it is the wish of the almighty let him do the needful because life has a beginning and and end," said Mwathe Wangai.

"He has lived a fulfilled life, he suffered and God always says that he will repay back all the years the locusts have eaten, and he got it back, he got his years back he has been living with his family, he has served his country, he has done what he set out to do," said Caroline Machayo.

Social media platform Twitter was also alight with comments from well-wishers in from across the world, with many commenting on Mandela's legacy.