Nelson Mandela was buried yesterday (Sunday), and South Africa’s official period of mourning came to an end. After listening to the funeral on the radio Sunday morning, I thought I was finished mourning too.
But I hadn’t yet been to Mandela’s house in Houghton, where he actually passed away on December 5. My friend Michelle, who just flew into Joburg this weekend, wanted to go. So we went to Houghton on Sunday evening.
I actually thought we might be too late and that things would have died down in Houghton by last night. Once again, I was wrong. The street was still a huge, living, breathing memorial to Madiba.
The memorial in front of Mandela’s Houghton House.
The flowers were piled up two or three feet high.
Note to Madiba in Afrikaans.
Mandela’s street was lined with vendors. I liked this stand especially — the vendors set up their merchandise on the backs of the portable toilets.
There was an impromptu gathering in front of the barrier, where people were singing and dancing and reciting poetry.
I’m not sure who this guy is but he took on the role of emcee for the singing and dancing and poetry reciting.
There were so many candles burning — I could smell the wax from several feet away. Occasionally the candles melted together and started larger fires, which the security guards extinguished.
The vibe in Houghton was really beautiful. I’m glad I went yesterday to say goodbye one last time.
Rest in peace, Madiba.
This isn’t quite the end of my 2Summers Mandela tribute — I’ve got one more post coming.