ALL SMILES: Marah Louw and her daughter Moratuwa pose for a picture at the Wanderers Stadium ahead of the Nelson Mandela Lecture to be given by former US president Barack Obama. Picture: Sthembiso Sithole/The Star

Johannesburg- Singer and actress Marah Louw has described late struggle icon Nelson Mandela as someone who represented peace and also touched many lives. 
The entertainer is attending the 16th Nelson Mandela Lecture at Wanderers Cricket Stadium in Illovo on Tuesday.

Former US president Barack Obama is expected to deliver a lecture about Mandela around 2:45pm.  
Louw, who had at some point in her career performed for Mandela, said the late statesman touched many lives, including hers. She also said it was because of him that she was able to achieve what she did in her career. 

"He touched a lot of us. It is a privilege to have known and performed for Tata. His legacy means so much to me. I can boast about the achievements I have because of him. He taught us to understand each other. He taught us about forgiveness and peace. He taught us patience and tolerance," she said. 

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Louw said she was looking forward to hear Obama speak. "I would like to hear him say all the good things about Madiba. I am proud of Obama. I am his biggest fan," Louw said. 

The lecture is one of the foundation’s flagship programmes to honour the struggle icon. Every year since 2003, global leaders have used the lecture to raise topical issues affecting South Africa, Africa and the rest of the world. 

To honour the centennial of Madiba’s birth, the lecture’s theme will be “Renewing the Mandela Legacy and Promoting Active Citizenship in a Changing World”. 

The lecture will focus on creating conditions for bridging divides, working across ideological lines, and resisting oppression and inequality. World leaders, ministers and members of the public were expected to attend the lecture.

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The Star