South Africans prepare for enormous birthday celebration

Cape Town- South Africa (PANA) -- South Africans are gearing up for the biggest birthday celebration in the country's history - Nelson Mandela's 85th birthday.
The revered freedom fighter and international statesman will celebrate this major milestone on Friday and millions of people around the world will be celebrating with him.
In South Africa plans are well underway to make the event as accessible as possible for most people.
On Friday, a group of underprivileged children, the South African Air Force orchestra and the country's national rugby team, will each sing "Happy Birthday" to Mandela.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation has announced that it will inaugurate an annual lecture on social challenges and former US President Bill Clinton will deliver the first address at a function in Johannesburg.
On Saturday, 1,600 people, including a number of international celebrities, such as Michael Jackson and Oprah Winfrey, will attend a giant banquet in Mandela's honour in Johannesburg.
Millions of people around the world will also be able to share in the event when MTV screens a 60-minute special celebrating the life of Mandela.
Well-wishers will also be able to send messages to Mandela via the Internet and telephone.
The International Marketing Council has created a hyperlink to a birthday page on a website (www.
info), enabling visitors to the site to post their messages that will be published in a book to be presented to Mandela.
In addition, from Friday, callers from around the world will be able to phone 27-12-MANDELA and leave their birthday greetings.
Proceeds from the calls will be gives to the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

16 july 2003 14:08:00

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