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Obama 'humbled' by visit to Mandela's former jail cell on Robben Island

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Obama 'humbled' by visit to Mandela's former jail cell on Robben Island

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Treading on the ground where Nelson Mandela once stepped, US President Barack Obama visited Robben Island. It was here where Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years behind bars before being released in 1990 and becoming South Africa’s first black president.

Obama said he felt ‘humbled’ by the experience, as the man whom he calls his ‘personal hero’ lies critically ill in hospital with a lung infection.

It was on the island where Mandela contracted tuberculosis and some attribute his current illness to the years spent in the damp cell.

Obama and his family were given a tour of the lime quarries by a former inmate.

Obama is in South Africa to call for more to be done to tackle poverty and disease and to announce a 7 billion dollar investment in electric power. Around two thirds of those living in Sub-Saharan Africa don’t have access to electricity.