Nelson Mandela, 94, is said to be spending a “quiet” birthday with his family in the village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape,Â reportsÂ the BBC.
As millions of admirers around the world are celebrating the former South African president, his granddaughter Ndileka Mandela toldÂ Sowetan Live that the family would honor him with a special lunch.
“The big lunch will be at 4 p.m. where we will present him with a cake. Our 67 minutes is a way of giving back to him, and that is our birthday gift to him,” she said.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama also paidÂ tribute to Mandela with this official statement:
“On behalf of the people of the United States, we would like to extend ourÂ heartfelt congratulations to Nelson Mandela on the occasion of his 94th birthdayÂ and the fourth annual Nelson Mandela International Day.
Mandelaâ€™s extraordinary life and steadfast commitment to the principles ofÂ democracy and reconciliation continues to be a beacon for people of allÂ backgrounds who strive for dignity, justice, and freedom.
Nelson Mandelaâ€™s personal story is one of unbreakable will, unwaveringÂ integrity, and abiding humility.Â On a personal note, our family has beenÂ inspired by Madibaâ€™s example, and has deeply appreciated the time we have spentÂ with him, and his wisdom, grace and generosity of spirit.
By any measure, Nelson Mandela has changed the arc of history, transformingÂ his country, continent, and the world.
In 2009, the United States joined 192 United Nations member states in theÂ creation of Nelson Mandela International Day.
On this important occasion, we honor Madibaâ€™s commitment to service and theÂ betterment of our communities.
There is no more fitting tribute to a man who has demonstrated to the worldÂ the extraordinary power of non-violence, of tolerance, and of unwavering serviceÂ to our fellow men and women.”
Former President Bill ClintonÂ and his daughter, Chelsea,Â met withÂ Mandela on Tuesday after opening a new library for the No-Moscow Primary School in Qunu.
“When I think about Mandela I always think about someone committed to the future,” Clinton shared.