Google Doodle celebrates Madiba's 96th birthday


The world leader of search engines has once again joined the globe in celebrating the life of former South African president and anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela. After creation of the much hyped and famously-growing Nelson Mandela Centre for Memory in a partnership between the Centre of Memory and the Google Cultural Institute in 2011, Google has once again set a notable mark towards the memory of the former statesman.

By Phinias Shonayi

Seven months after his death, Google is celebrating the anniversary of Mandela’s birth with an interactive slide-interactive Doodle. Visitors to the site can click through a number of his most well-known quotes, coupled with illustrations depicting stages of his ‘Long Walk to Freedom’.
It traces Mandela’s legacy through six of his most memorable and influential quotes paired with corresponding drawings.. yes drawings, not photos.

“Something that stood out to me about Nelson Mandela was his eloquent way with words,” the doodle’s designer, Katy Wu, writes in a blog post.
“I thought his words gave a great insight into the kind of man he was, so I wanted to focus the creative direction of the doodle on his quotes against a backdrop of the history of South Africa.
I hope it inspires people to learn from Nelson Mandela and his way of life, to be kind, to understand, and to respect other people and our differences.”

Katy initially thought she would make a very serious, somber sort of doodle. But after learning more about Mandela as a person, she started to understand that Madiba was a man with a lot of character, and not always just a serious figure.
Google Doodle is an artistic version of the Google logo. Google Doodles represent events like holidays, anniversaries, or current events.

Some of the doodles are limited to Google’s country specific home pages while others appeared globally.
• Google celebrated the World Cup with various related doodles. On June 17, it featured Paul the Octopus in heaven, above the clouds, contemplating on which country will win on that day’s match.
• On May 11, Google honored mothers on Mother’s Day with a doodle showing mothers and children spending time outdoors.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born on July 18, 1918 in Mvezo, South Africa, and this doodle is to celebrate his 96th birthday.

Meanwhile, a collection of unusual items signed by South Africa’s anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela has been auctioned in Johannesburg. The lots, including a chess set, of figures from either side of the apartheid battle, and salt and pepper shakers of Mr. Mandela and FW de Klerk, were auctioned on Thursday, the eve of Mandela’s 96th birthday.

96 years ago, Nelson Mandela was born; a revolutionary who would become the face of magnanimity, wisdom, and resistance to injustice, as well as “father of the nation” to South Africa.

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