Once again a nation rejoices

ON Sunday Madiba turns 92 and the world will wish him well on the internationally recognised Mandela Day.

"Having hosted a successful World Cup that was the best gift Tata could have given us, we thank him," President Jacob Zuma's spokesperson, Zizi Kodwa, said on his behalf yesterday.

"The legacy of the World Cup will be with us for a very long time to come. We hope his wisdom will continue to inspire us to have more such opportunities as a country and Africa."

Jaziel Brothers led the celebrities in paying tribute to Mandela.

"Happy birthday, Madiba. We appreciate you, we love you and want to thank you for everything," said Luthando Ngcizela of the group.

"We are starting our 67 minutes for Madiba on Friday (today) by doing motivational talks at schools in Qunu, UMthatha, which happens to be the birthplace of Mandela."

Jamali members Love Jacqui, Mariechan and Liesl said: "Madiba is the greatest. We love and adore him very much. Happy birthday, Madiba. We wish you many more to come."

Sama-winner Nutty Nys said: "My wish is for the world to leave Tata alone now, so he can enjoy his old age in peace and quiet."

Songbird Lira said: "I wish Madiba much joy and peace in his old age."

"On Sunday I will be joining friends at the St Francis Centre in Boksburg for my 67 minutes, to cheer up HIV-positive patients and abandoned and abused children."

Hip-hop artist Lebogang Mothibe, otherwise known as Shugasmakx, had a simple message.

"Thank you, Madiba, for being a strong leader and symbol of peace and hope," she said.

"You have put the world's focus on our country and let us shine brighter than ever. Happy birthday, Tata. We will follow in your footsteps and carry on to develop our nation and its people. Dankie, ngiyabonga!"

Fashion designer Gavin Rajah said: "I hope Madiba's life is touched by the blessings of the millions around the world that he has inspired and given hope.

"May Madiba continue to share his wisdom with the world and may he serve as an eternal role model for all South Africans. I wish him love, peace of mind, great health and happiness!"

Model Lee-Ann Liebenberg said: "Happy birthday, Tata! I want to wish you a blessed 92nd birthday filled with love and joy! We love you."

Soccer star Ryan Botha said: "Happy birthday, Madiba! You have truly inspired our nation.

"You have struggled through hard times yet have never succumbed to the burdens of life, showing us a true path to togetherness and provided a sanctuary of hope. May you be blessed with the birthday you deserve."

TV and radio presenter Jen Su said: "I wish our beloved Tata Madiba a wonderful birthday.

"It was a great honour for me to be at the Mandela Day celebrations last year in New York. This year I will again be devoting 67 minutes at a special Mandela Day tribute in New York, to honour and celebrate his incredible legacy of peace, forgiveness and reconciliation."

Fashionista Uyanda Mbuli will be joining Gauteng MEC for economic development Firoz Cachalia, and other employees of the department "when we roll up our sleeves and do some chores for the under-privileged".

"I wish Mandela another memorable birthday as we all heed the call to spend 67 minutes for him."

Actress Khabonina Qubeka said: "Tata wethu ... You said 'It always seems impossible until it is done' - and then you went ahead and did it all. Happy birthday!"

Reggie and Paledi of RjKay Creations said: "Dear Tata, every time we think of you deep in our hearts there's a glow.

"We thank God for your existence because the world is truly fortunate to experience such rare magical presence you continuously exude. We love you. Happy 92nd birthday."