Belfast Telegraph

Stars pay tribute to Nelson Mandela

Idris Elba has led the tributes from the showbiz world following the death of Nelson Mandela.

The British actor - who played the former South African president in Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom - said he was grieving alongside the rest of the world.

"I am stunned at this very moment, in mourning with the rest of the world and Madiba's family," said the star. "We have lost one of the greatest human beings to have walked this earth, I only feel honoured to be associated with him. He is in a better place now."

Stars from the worlds of film, TV and music have tweeted messages and released statements after it was announced that Mandela had died at the age of 95.

South African actress Charlize Theron said: "My thoughts and love go out to the Mandela family. Rest in Peace Madiba. You will be missed, but your impact on this world will live forever." She added: "There will never be words to say what I'm feeling right now. I am saddened to the depths of my soul. Truly."

U2 frontman Bono, who met Mandela on many occasions, said: "It was as if he was born to teach the age a lesson in humility, in humour and above all else in patience.

"In the end, Nelson Mandela showed us how to love rather than hate, not because he had never surrendered to rage or violence, but because he learnt that love would do a better job. Mandela played with the highest stakes.

"He put his family, his country, his time, his life on the line, and he won most of these contests. Stubborn til the end for all the right reasons, it felt like he very nearly outstared his maker. Finally, he blinked. And some of us cry, knowing our eyes were opened to so much because of him."

Morgan Freeman, who played Mandela in the 2009 movie Invictus, said the world had "lost one of the true giants of the past century".

Oprah Winfrey said Mandela would "always be my hero" and was "a gift to us all". The talk show host went on: "One of the great honours of my life was to be invited to Nelson Mandela's home, spend private time and get to know him. He was everything you've ever heard and more - humble and unscathed by bitterness. And he always loved to tell a good joke. Being in his presence was like sitting with grace and majesty at the same time."

Jennifer Hudson said everybody could learn from Mandela's "extraordinary journey" while rocker Slash said he had been one of the "few pillars of humanity we had left".

Samuel L Jackson said: "Never met a better person in my life than Nelson Mandela. My sympathy to his family & his country."

X Factor mogul Simon Cowell tweeted: "So sad to hear about Nelson Mandela. Rest in peace."

Alan Titchmarsh, who gave Mandela's garden in Qunu a makeover on an episode of BBC One's Ground Force in 1999, said: "His legacy is, more than anything else, one of forgiveness, that he could move on and saw no earthly point in retribution. He was a pragmatist with tremendous soul and there's no finer legacy than that."

Queen guitarist Brian May, a founding ambassador of Nelson Mandela's 46664 charity, assisting those infected or affected by HIV/Aids, said: "Very sad to hear of Madiba's passing.

"We (Queen, along with Dave Stewart, and the Corrs) were privileged to spend some days and nights with him at his game park retreat, while we were organising the first 46664 concert for Aids at Green Point Stadium in Cape Town. They were life-changing days, with quiet time and talks around a camp fire at night, which we will remember till we die.

"Mandela was the most inspiring man of his generation. His message, by example, was the power of forgiveness. He showed us that it's possible to act after great injustice with no thought of revenge. He was light, funny, enormously generous, and, quietly, the greatest example to the world that a man can be."

David Beckham posted his own simple tribute with a message on his Facebook page.

The former England football captain placed an image of the two of them together clasping hands, Mandela sitting in an armchair and wearing a baseball cap, with the footballer in a dark top bearing an England crest and his hair in a corn-row style.

Above it Beckham wrote: "Thank you."


From Belfast Telegraph