A child for every year of his age came from his home region to wish Nelson Mandela happy birthday today.
The Mandela household was kept busy all day long with a succession of wellwishers from South Africa and abroad, but none seemed to please Mandela as much as the youngsters.
Mandela has had a busy month; grieving for his lost granddaughter, watching the World Cup final, and now this, but as ever he was ready to go the extra yard in public service.
His birthday is also the first United Nations Nelson Mandela Day, the organisation using Mandela’s global prestige to advance human rights, reconciliation and race relations.
While Nelson was looking after things at home, wife Graca was at a nearby children’s home giving gardening lessons;
“For a 92-year-old, he is healthy. He is not physically strong any more, but his spirit is as strong as ever,” she said.
To launch Nelson Mandela Day, the former president has called in some star buddies to make a video promoting a day the UN has high hopes for in raising the profile of a range of issues.