After the sad news spread that Nelson Mandela passed away yesterday at the age of 95, mourners from around the world showed the Nobel Peace Prize Winner a lot of love and respect. Appreciation and gratitude for all that Mandela did to stop apartheid in South Africa, including giving up his own freedom, was sincerely expressed by the Hollywood community.
Charlize Theron is from South Africa, she grew up on a farm in Johannesburg. The Oscar winning actress alongside The Wire actor Idris Elba both spoke last night after the premiere of the biopic about Mandela’s life, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. Theron had this to say, “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. There will never be words to say what I’m feeling right now. I am saddened to the depths of my soul. Truly.”
Theron is also the creator of CTAOP, an organization to help stop the spread of HIV/AIDS among the youth in Africa. The group works alongside Oprah’s Angel Network to provide mobil health services to an impoverished region in South Africa called The uMkhanyakude District.
Elba, who played Mandela in the biopic, also paid his respects. “I am stunned at this very moment, in mourning with the rest of the world and Madiba’s family. We have lost one of the greatest human beings to have walked this earth, I only feel honored to be associated with him. He is in a better place now.
Many celebrities also expressed their thoughts on the life and death of the South African Leader. Morgan Freeman, who played Mandela in the 2009 film Invictus said, “What an honor it was to portray a man who defied odds, broke down barriers, and championed human rights before the eyes of the world.”
Also paying their respects were Rihanna, Cher, Kerry Washington, David Beckham and Harvey Weinstein, to name just a few. Naomi Campbell was especially moving in her tribute. “Nelson has stood as a figure of strength, hope, freedom, selflessness and love, and I join everyone across the world in mourning his passing.” She went on to say, “However, he was much more than just a figurehead to me – he was my mentor, my honorary grandfather, my Tata. Since meeting him in 1993, he’s guided me and gave me a reason for being in the tough times of my life. He changed my perception of the world.”
The Long Walk to Freedom hit theaters last week in limited release. The biopic is based on Mandela’s autobiography of the same name. The narrative moves between his childhood, coming of age and the 27 years he spent in prison before becoming President of South Africa.