Flame of hope burns for Madiba
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Johannesburg - Nelson Mandela's life was described on Saturday as the flame that lit the world and symbolised hope.
The Nelson Mandela Museum in Qunu, in the Eastern Cape, was remembering Mandela by lighting a flame of hope.
“The flame indicates that his (Mandela's) life was more like a light in the world,” said museum chairwoman Nozuko Yokwana.
She said the light also depicted humility, love, peace and tolerance.
“The colour orange tells us it's not the end of the day. It means we need to continue lighting the world.”
The flame symbolised light in the darkest hour, she said.
Yokwana said that even though Mandela might be dead, his presence would forever hover over the country.
“He will be a figure that guides our lives.”
Among those present at the lighting was Mandela's long-time friend, Chieftainess Nozole Mtirara.
She said people should live by the morals and values for which Mandela stood, like love, peace and the value of education.
“Today, I thanked God for Madiba who had done so many things for South Africa and its people,” she said.
“We need to follow in his footsteps. Madiba taught children to go to school, that education was important and taught us about love and forgiveness.”
Mtirara said she would like her children and grandchildren to follow in Mandela's footsteps.
She was sad about Mandela's death, but was grateful for the memories she had shared with him and the stories he had told.
Mtirara's late husband, Chief Justice Zwelivumile, grew up with Mandela.
“His death is painful, but God has released him. I am thankful that I knew him,” Mtirara said.
The flame was placed at the entrance to one of the sections of the museum. It has a picture of Mandela on the front and back.
On the grass lawn outside the museum, five flags flew at half-mast. They included the South African, US and Kenyan flags. - Sapa