Tributes, memorials, flowers and candles graced the streets of Johannesburg, South Africa as mourners gathered to sing, dance and remember their beloved Nelson Mandela, the freedom fighter responsible for leading South Africa from white rule and apartheid.
The rest of the world, however, was not exempt, and as news that Nelson Mandela, the former South African president and Nobel Peace recipient, had peacefully passed away after 95 years of excellence spread, so did the tributes.
Twitter exploded with Mandela quotes. Politicians recalled meeting Mandela for the first time. Social activists told stories of their call to activism, sparked by Mandela’s fierce fight to end inequality in South Africa. And Hollywood, currently celebrating the release of the biopic, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, mourned the loss of a great leader.
It was at the London premiere for the film that Idris Elba, who plays a young Mandela in the movie, was informed about his death.
“What an honor it was to step into the shoes of Nelson Mandela and portray a man who defied odds, broke down barriers, and championed human rights before the eyes of the world. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
South African actress Charlize Theron offered these kind words to Mandela’s family:
“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,” adding: ‘”here will never be words to say what I’m feeling right now. I am saddened to the depths of my soul. Truly.”
And Morgan Freeman, who played Mandela in the 2009 film Invictus, offered his condolences, describing the great leader as “a saint to many, a hero to all who treasure liberty, freedom and the dignity of humankind.”
Other celebrities weighed in on Mandela’s passing:
Nelson Mandela was an angel walking on this earth. You were one the greatest teachers this world has ever known. We love you and we miss you
— Russell Simmons (@UncleRUSH) December 5, 2013
— Rihanna (@rihanna) December 5, 2013
Today we lost the world’s greatest advocate for peace and change. Nelson Mandela was a hero to so many. Rest in peace.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) December 5, 2013
Rest in Peace Mr. Nelson Mandela. A fearless leader, incredible human being, inspiration, a REAL hero. Truly one of a kind. God bless you.
— Jamie Foxx (@iamjamiefoxx) December 5, 2013
RIP Nelson Mandela. God Bless You. http://t.co/yRZh3RrP7K
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) December 5, 2013
R.I.P. Nelson Mandela…may your principles of love be the guiding light for future generations. http://t.co/itkfciFn0f
— Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) December 6, 2013
Mr. Mandela fought for freedoms and equality that changed South Africa and the world. We can all learn from his extraordinary journey.
— Jennifer Hudson (@IAMJHUD) December 6, 2013
Take a look to see how countries around the world are remembering our beloved Madiba.
SOURCE: Twitter, Instagram | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty