Qunu in South Africa’s Eastern Province is surrounded by a rural landscape where Nelson Mandela played as a young boy, where he was baptised and went to school.
Now the isolated village is preparing to welcome the man known as the ‘Father of the Nation’ home to his final resting place.
The emphasis of the state funeral will be on family. It is yet unclear how many world leaders will be present.
On Sunday, in the local Episcopal church, villagers joined with millions around the world in remembering the 95-year-old local. In his lifetime he did not forget them and now The Nelson Mandela Youth and Heritage Centre stands in the village as a lasting memorial to their most famous son.
The world will be watching as they lay him to rest with family and villagers saying a personal farewell. It was his wish to be buried here.
“Tata Mandela means a lot to us. He built us schools and halls and a church and he has helped the community a lot,” said Jeke Silintile, a local lay preacher.