Nigerians Celebrate Nelson Mandela, ‘A Source of Inspiration for People’ Everywhere

Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa who played a crucial role in that country's dismantling of apartheid, died on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at the age of 95. The beloved statesman and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who is often referred to as Madiba, spent 27 years in prison for his political activities during the country's white minority rule before becoming president.

Since the news of his death broke, Nigerians have been celebrating the life and times of the man some call Africa's greatest gift to humanity. Within the African world view, the departure of a sage is no time for mourning, but a time of reflection on and appreciation of a worthy legacy. Eulogies have continued to stream in on Nigerian social media since the announcement of his death. 

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was the first democratically elected president of South Africa. Photo released by South Africa The Good News under Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0).

Oluwatosin Olaseinde, an accountant and auditor, captured this succinctly:

Oby Ezekwesili, formerly vice president of the World Bank's Africa division, wrote:

Twitter user @ba55ey celebrated Mandela: 

Journalist Abang Mercy-Asu shared a video of Madiba's “Freedom Speech”:

Writer and blogger Nze Sylva Ifedigbo shared a post from his blog: 

User @KwamiAdadevoh called for personal introspection: 

User @WilDeji, a dog trainer, tried to capture the historic date of Madiba's release from prison: 

Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a politician and prominent member of Nigeria's opposition, asserted that: 

Nnayelugo called for “Mandelaness”:

Literary critique Lord of the Gourds’ tweet was sarcastic:

User @nnamdiarea did not spare African leaders:

Social commentator Jason Kayode thought that it's not as much about leadership as it is about good citizenship:

RamblersINC, a blogger and literati, summed up Mandiba's legacy thus:

Mojisola Sodeinde wrote: 

Molara Wood (@molarawood), a writer, journalist and editor, summed up the sentiments of Nigerians in this poetic tweet:

Madiba will dance to the cadence of this dirge, written by Nigerian poet, Tosin Gbogi, as he approaches “heaven's gate”: 

Nelson, neon lights cast upon the night
Eons heavy with caste of memories,
Language bares to its final sole.

Soweto remembers the penal boundaries of up-rising
On a night like this, Nelson, a night like this when
Neon lights cast upon the world a cast of

Memories: a massacre so sharp
And vile: A Botha bold to a brainless core
Night on his lips, pronounces his race into the hate of
Dawn that brings Robben Island to its knees.

En route, Nelson is finally en route to Free(dom)Town
Let him have eternal peace, oh
Angels Biko and Brutus, quicken his pace to heavensgate

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