- Posted December 16, 2013 by
Brooklyn, New York
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This iReport is part of an assignment:
Nelson Mandela: Your memories
Hundreds of Paper Lanterns Brighten the Brooklyn Sky in Honor of Nelson Mandela
- dsashin, CNN iReport producer
Hundreds of fans and supporters of South Africa's first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela, gathered Sunday night (December 15, 2013) at Madiba Restaurant, a South African themed restaurant in Brooklyn, New York, to pay their last respects to Mandela on the day he was laid to rest in his hometown of Qunu, South Africa. Madiba Restaurant takes its name from Mandela's Xhosa clan name.
Two hundred bright paper lanterns were lit and released into the clear night sky, floating above the colorful facade of the restaurant and up past brownstone apartment buildings as a large crowd below cheered, sang songs, danced and celebrated the life of the former South African president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who emerged from nearly three decades in apartheid prisons to help guide the nation to democracy. Passing motorists honked their horns and shouted Mandela's name.
The celebration continued indoors where the South African All Star band, including Bakithi Kumalo, the amazing bassist from Paul Simon's legendary Graceland band, gave a spirited performance.
*Photos by Lulis Leal