SEARCH

Entries in Happy Birthday (2)

Monday
Jul182011

Nelson Mandela Celebrates 93rd Birthday in South Africa

Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images(JOHANNESBURG) -- As Nelson Mandela turns 93 in South Africa Monday, his foundation is calling on people from around the world to commemorate Nelson Mandela Day by devoting 67 minutes of their time to community service.

That time is representative of the 67 years the former South African president has devoted to public service in his country and abroad.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation, along with the South African government, also mobilized a nationwide campaign to have the entire nation sing "Happy Birthday" to the Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

On Monday morning, a special version of the song was sung to Mandela by an estimated 12 million public school children.  The song was simultaneously broadcast across all of South Africa's 18 radio and three television stations, marking the first time since Mandela's release from prison 21 years ago that all of the nation's media aired a program at the same time.

The foundation said it would look at submitting the event to the Guinness Book of World Records for a song simultaneously sung by the most people in the world.  It is not yet known if the target of 12.4 million singers was reached to set the new record.

Madiba, as Mandela is affectionately known as in South Africa, will spend his birthday with his family in his childhood village of Qunu.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul122011

South Africa to Sing 'Happy Birthday' to Nelson Mandela

Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images(PRETORIA, South Africa) -- A nationwide campaign is being mobilized by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the South African government to have the entire nation sing "Happy Birthday" to the global icon on his birthday next Monday, July 18 at 8:05 a.m.

At a press conference held Tuesday at the foundation, it was announced that all 12.4 million public school children will honor "Dada," as Nelson Mandela's affectionately called, with a song, followed by a five minute presentation about his life.  The minister for education said the presentation was important because this is the first generation born after his release, and it needs to be reminded of his struggles and contribution to South Africa and the world.

The rest of the country is also invited to join in.  All of the country's 18 radio and three television stations will play a recording of the "Happy Birthday" tribute at the same time, marking the first time since Mandela's release 21 years ago that all of the nation's media will simultaneously broadcast a program.

South African President Jacob Zuma has recorded a five-minute birthday message as well, which will play right before the song.

The song is a special, lively version of "Happy Birthday" sung in a combination of local languages, but primarily Zulu.  The government is distributing copies of the words throughout the country this week.

The recorded version will be available for download on Wednesday and is sung by a school choir in the greater Johannesburg area that won a contest held earlier this year for the honor.

After July 18, the foundation said it will look at submitting the event to the Guinness Book of World Records for a song simultaneously sung by the most people in the world.

Local celebrity Jeremy Mansfield told reporters on Tuesday that the announcement is part of a process leading up to Mandela's 93rd birthday, realizing that this could be the last.

"He will always remain a cornerstone of our society," Mansfield said.  "But we have to start using all these young people as the bricks to continue to build the society up."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio