Happy Birthday, Mr President !

21 Jul 2003
Bono joined a galaxy of politicians and celebrities in Johannesburg this weekend to celebrate the 85th birthday of Nelson Mandela.

The celebrations started with 85 children, led by South African singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka and joined by Bono, singing 'Happy Birthday' for Mandela.

Later in the evening, Bono returned to the stage to perform with The Corrs.

Among the 1600 guests were South African President Thabo Mbeki , Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Bill and Hilary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Robert de Niro, Naomi Campbell, Chris Tucker, Naomi Campbell and Coretta Scott-King as well as Mandela's personal staff.

Paying tribute to Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison under the apartheid government, and then peacefully led South Africa from white minority rule to democracy, Tutu said: 'Thank you for teaching us to forgive. We thank you for your compassion. Thank you for being a beacon of hope.'

In his tribute, President Clinton said : 'You have taught us the freedom of forgiveness ... shown us the power of humility.' Quoting from Irish poet Seamus Heaney, Clinton said: "You have made hope and history rhyme."

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