Watch: Global video reactions to Nelson Mandela’s death


In the few days since Nelson Mandela died, emotional video tributes to the man – from global leaders such as Barack Obama to activists like Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi, major media organisations such as the Guardian and New York Times, and very ordinary people – have flooded the internet. We bring you a selection.

The Guardian – 9 December 2013

The UK newspaper brings together tributes and condolences, framed with rare historical footage, from South African President Jacob Zuma, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, US secretary of state John Kerry, US President Barack Obama, UK prime minister David Cameron, Archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu, Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi – and ordinary people on the street.

Amnesty International – 5 December 2013

“Mandela, a human rights legend.” Amnesty International, the independent global human rights watchdog, documents activists across the world explaining their understanding of Nelson Mandela’s gift to the world: a march towards freedom, human dignity, compassion and forgiveness.

US President Barack Obama – 5 December 2013

Speaking on the day Mandela died – the news came through just as the US was waking up – Barack Obama said Nelson Mandela’s journey from a prisoner to president embodied the promise that human beings, and countries, can change for the better. He asked that the world give thanks for the fact that Mandela lived – a man who took history in his hands and bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice.

The Elders – 6 December 2013

The Elders are a group of retired and independent global leaders brought together by Nelson Mandela. In this video released the day after Mandela’s death, former US president Jimmy Carter, South Africa’s Archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu, former Norwegian prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, Ireland’s former president Mary Robinson, and Ela Bhatt, founder of the Self-Employed Women’s Association of India, express their often visible sadness at his passing.

Former US president Bill Clinton – 6 December 2013

“When you were around him, you wanted to be a bigger person. You knew you could be better than you were.” President Bill Clinton shares memories and reflections in his first interview since the death of his close friend.

South African rugby Springboks – 6 December 2013

A tribute from South African Rugby, showing the massive impact Nelson Mandela had on the world, South Africa – and rugby. “We will always play for you, Madiba.”

BBC News – 5 December 2013

“His story is one of the most remarkable of any world leader. Few in history have endured oppression with such little rancour, or overcome the oppressor with such little bloodshed.”

The New York Times – 5 December 2013

“Mandela’s quest for freedom led from the court of tribal royalty to the liberation underground, to a prison rock quarry and, finally, to the presidential suite of Africa’s wealthiest country.”

Musician Peter Gabriel – 6 December 2013

“To come out of 27 years in jail and immediately set about building a rainbow nation with your sworn enemy is a unique and extraordinary example of courage and forgiveness. Mandela had seen many of his people beaten, imprisoned and murdered, yet he was still willing to trust the humanity and idealism of those who had been the oppressors. There is no other example of such inspirational leadership in my lifetime.”

The Guardian – 6 December 2013

“For many he was saint-like. But in fact he was a canny politician.” The UK Guardian newspaper’s video obituary, published the day after Mandela died.

Two backpacking US tourists – 6 December 2013

Caught unawares and “offline”, as they describe it, on the day after Mandela’s death, two young US backpackers on their way to a tour of Robben Island react emotionally to the news. Slideshow image and video courtesy of News 24.

Mandela on Media Club South Africa
Nelson Mandela: the world mourns
Nelson Mandela – a timeline 
Barack Obama’s tribute to Mandela 
Watch: World reacts to Mandela’s death
Infographic: Mandela family tree
Nelson Mandela’s words of wisdom
The women in Madiba’s life
Tutu leads memorial at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
High-res photos: In 2010, Nelson Mandela wishes World Cup good luck to Bafana Bafana