Dear Mr Mandela …

Welcome to the official Nelson Mandela 85th Birthday Message Book, page 1

Nelson Mandela turned 85 on 18 July 2003 – and you, and you, and you … sent him 17 842 birthday messages via the official Mandela 85th Birthday website.

A selection of your messages has been published in this Book. See the box on the right for the full list of pages.

I love you Mandela, I hope that you have a lovely day and see many, many more Birthdays. You are a special person to all of us, we love you.
Blake Bennett (8 yrs old)
Lenasia, Gauteng, South Africa

Happy Birthday! Love you to bits. Thanks for being South Africa’s greatest asset.
The Mercury – editor and staff
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Happy Birthday Madiba, We wish you peace, good health and happiness. Thank you for the past 85 years, and may you be blessed with many more.
James Southey
Worcester, Western Cape, South Africa

Dear Tata, Words cannot express our happiness when we join you in the celebration of your 85th birthday. To us in the Northern Cape Department of Health you a mirror that we always have to look at it to gauge our commitment to the cause that Bambatha, Moroka, Sol Platjie, Kotane, Luthuli, Dadoo, Slovo and Mokaba fought for for so many years. Like the late Enoch Sontonga said in his prayer song Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrica we implore the Almighty to give you power so that you can continue to guide those blinded by racism and greed. Like you said “never and never again shall our people travel long distances to receive basic health care services” we are commiting ourselves in your name that “never and never again will our people have to suffer because of preventable diseases”. Tata Madiba, to you happy birthday and progressive 85 years is befitting.
Thabo Poka Lekhu
Spokesman, Ministry of Health, Kimberley, Northern Cape

Happy Birthday! Here’s to another 85. Pity you’re no longer president.
The Independent on Saturday – editor and staff
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

You have been an inspiration to all of us to strive to be better South Africans by working towards a better life for all. May you enjoy your special day in full knowledge that you have played your role and there are many more South Africans who are prepared to continue your work because they have been inspired by you. Happy birthday Tata Madiba. Thulani Kunene
Palm Springs, Gauteng, South Africa

Happy birthday Tata Mandela. May you see many more years.
Lucas Marunga
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

Wishing you the best for your birthday and the year ahead. May there be many more.
Sharon Venn
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

Dear Madiba, I hope you have a wonderful birthday and many more to come. Thank you for being my inspiration!
Sunelle Fouche
Cape Town, South Africa

Happy birthday Nelson. Best wishes.
Beatrice Jordaan
Polokwane, Limpopo, South Africa

Dear Mr Mandela. Happy birthday. Have a great day. May God watch over you for years to come. Thank you for being you. Thank you for the great work you have done for our country and are still doing. Your love for your people has no end. We love you Madiba.
Charles Oberholzer
Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

Dankie vir die wonderlike voorbeeld wat u aan ons almal stel. Baie verwarde Afrikaners is deur moelike tye gerus gestel en gemotiveer deur u. Geluk met die groot 85! Ons drink ‘n dop op jou…
Elsje Eloff
Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa

Words cannot describe how blessed this generation is to have lived during the times of the icon like you. You are the best thing that’s ever happened to this country. South Africa is blessed to have you. O gole Tata, o gole o be o fete le tlou .Re a go rata, Modimo a go tshegofatse.
Kego Mokgoro
Sunnyside, Gauteng, South Africa

Happy birthday to you, Tata.
Thami Nogabe
Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa

Kokwana Madiba ha tinyungubisa hi wena , u hi lwerile u kondza u hlula namutlha hi chuxekile hikokwalaho ka wena – kula u ringana na ndlopfu .
Tsundzuka Nkuna
Waterval Township, Limpopo, South Africa

Congratulations on your 85th birthday. Thank you for all the years of unselfish service to our beautiful land and for leading by example. Lank lewe Madiba!
Andre Vos
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

May you have the time of your life on Friday 18.07.2003. Happy birthday.
M E van Wyk
University of the North, Limpopo, South Africa

Tata you fought my battle for humanity long before I arrived on this earth. And therefore I too want to say plenty more thank you’s and happy birthday(s).
Ivan Vogt
Potchefstroom, North West, South Africa

To a wonderful man who has done great things for this wonderful country. Madiba, wishing you well on this special day! May all your successors follow in your footsteps!
Ronel Jessen
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

Uyisibonelo esihle kithina bantu abasakhulayo. Ukhule uze ukhokhobe.
Nonkululeko Xulu
Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Ni ku navelela siku lerinene kokwani wa Africa Dzonga.
Matimba Mahange
Edenvale, Gauteng, South Africa

Dear, Mr. Mandela, my best wishes to you on your birthday from Germany. Every time I hear or read of Nelson Mandela I am so happy about the development of the Person Nelson Mandela and YOUR Country South Africa. I am not able to describe what I feel in such moments – deeply impressed. I send you my best wishes and thank you for giving me and the whole mankind hope and confidence for the future. Deeply grateful.
Jens Melle

Happy birthday, Sir. You made everything so much easier for us. Thank you. I love you.
Fuad Hendricks
Bosmont, Gauteng, South Africa

Thank you for being a true hero. Thank you for a free South Africa. Happy birthday! God bless!
Lois Geldenhuys
Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

You gave us hope. Your struggle and thoughts changed the world for ever. HAPPY BIRTHDAY. GOD BLESS YOU.
Beijing, China

Happy birthday Madiba. May GOD bless you to see many more. Lots of love.
Candice Petersen
Observatory, Gauteng, South Africa

Happy birthday Madiba. You are the greatest of all and we wish you a Happy Long Life Rolihlahla, Happy Birthday Tata!
Vuyiswa Mabinda
Mbekweni, Western Cape, South Africa

Happy birthday Madiba. Have a wonderful day. God Bless.
Suzanne Ferreira and family
Brackenfell, Western Cape, South Africa

Thank you for the gifts you have given us and continue to give us each day. I wish you long life in this land you have helped to rebuild. God bless you.
Anston Bosman
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Happy birthday Tata, you have fought like a true soldier. May the Lord look after you for us.
Sarah Molokoane-Nakedi
Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa

Bab’ uMadiba. It’s indeed a great pleasure to share this special time with you. You are a tower of strength and insight. If the world can have more people like you, it indeed would be a much better place. South Africa is here today, much to your efforts in a team and as a leader. Happy Birthday.
Lucky P. Khumalo (de Coomza)
Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

Through all the 21 years of my life I have not found a man of true wisdom and passion like you. You have been my role model ever since I began to understand politics and I want to wish you the best one and that may the Lord richly Bless you Sir. You deserve nothing but the best. I admire you
Ntokozo Khumalo
Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

May God be with you on your special day and all the other days still to come, happy birthday Madiba!
Lizelle Faber
Centurion, Gauteng, South Africa

We thank you for everything which you have done for us as a nation. Happy birthday.
Nomcebo Nzimande
Polokwane, Limpopo, South Africa

May your day be filled with joy and blessings. Congratulations.
Lynn van Niekerk
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

Happy birthday Tata Madiba. I wish you a pleasant birthday.
Job Matlebjane
Polokwane, Limpopo, South Africa

The radiance of your personality has touched the lives of many. A face instantly recognised throughout the world has earned the respect it so richly deserves. You have changed the course of history to make the world a safer place to live in. Long live, our Madiba, long live! God’s mercy and endless blessings be upon you. May you be a guidance and inspiration for all. We love you and pray for your health, happiness and all that your heart desires.
Mahmood Cassim and family.
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

We join the world in celebrating a life well lived. We thank you for what you are still doing for SA and the rest of mankind. Long live. Happy returns dear father.
Mpolokeng Makhari and family.
Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

Happy birthday Tata wethu. We wish you many more!
Phakamisa Bevu
Daveyton, Gauteng, South Africa

Happy birthday Mandela. May God bless you all the days of your life. We love you stacks and stacks.
Mala Pillay
Phoenix, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Congratulations on your 85th birthday!
Antwerp, Belgium

Dumela Ntate Mandela, wishing you God’s blessings for the years to come. You are a living example that age does not mean you stop growing and enriching the lives of other people- my children always remind me of your words when you retired as President of SA, when you said you wanted to read to your grandchildren. We wish you many years to do just that. O gole gole!!!
Christel Lorato Hermann
Mafikeng, North West, South Africa

Happy birthday Madiba, you are and will always be a legend for many more centuries, may your years ahead be filled with good health, strength and happiness. Love you.
Neesa Chin
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Happy birthday Madiba. Your greatness and kindness are the best presents South Africans have ever received!
Carin Swart
Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa

We wish you the best for your birthday. May God add more years to your life. O gole o gole tlou e be moshemanyana.
Jenniffer and Edwin Maile
Dwarsloop, Limpopo, South Africa

All young South Africans join millions of our people in appreciating the role you have played in our country and the world at large. We will always look up to you, your boldness and selflessness will always guide us. Long live Madiba, the people’s hero.
ANC Youth League
Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa

Have a wonderful one. Thuthuka njalo.
Lindiwe Ndebele
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

Simple music can make you sing, simple hug makes you feel better, simple things can make you happy. Hope my simple “Happy Birthday” will make you smile.
Rene Damons
Randburg, Gauteng, South Africa

A great Toussaint of our time. We of the younger generation shall be always grateful to God for having walked in your image Madiba. We have in many ways been touched by the generosity of your spirit. Mpilo nde Tata.
Chris N Qiqimana
Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

Dear Mr Mandela this comes to you with me and my family’s very best wishes on this your 85th Birthday. May you have many more healthy, happy years ahead! Fond regards.
Cheryl, Craig and Vicky Johnson
Florida, Gauteng, South Africa

Happy birthday nkosi yama khosi. Have a great day.
Jaguars Rugby Club
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

May you have a very happy birthday. I wish you many more. You are a true legend.
Nomahlubi Hadebe
Inchanga, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Happy Birthday Mandela I wish that you live a much longer time and enjoy your day. With lots of love. I love you.
Nomfundo Ntuli
Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

The nation will always respect and adore you for being the best leader ever. Hope you always stay as cherished. Happy 85th Birthday.Madiba, Halala!
Nosipho Dlamini
Imbali, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

The tears that well up in my eyes each time your name is mentioned tells me how much love and respect we have for you! May the Almighty Allah (God) grant you a long, happy and peaceful life. Respectfully, your son
Bhaai Cassim
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

Dear Madiba. You are a father, hero and my role model. I have learned two important aspects of life from you, Revenge does not work and secondly we must learn to forgive, irrespective of the harm that the other person did to you, Happy 85th birthday and may the Almighty God richly bless you.
Sello Peter Baloyi
Pretoria, Valhalla, South Africa

Dear Mr. Mandela. When I lived in Cape Town in 1996, I took a course in healing with 8 South African women from different backgrounds. We all agreed that we liked living in a country where the citizens could love the president. Thank you for being the kind of leader and human being the world can look up to. Best wishes for a wonderful 85th birthday. Also, happy anniversary. I share that date with you; it will be 22 years of marriage for me this year. With much love.
Sheryl Sturges
Washington DC, USA

Madiba omhle, fafa olude, gokra lamagokra eyaphula intsimbi yocalulo ibingenophulwa nangubani, ndinga nam ndingalandela ekhondweni lakho, ngoba ndilapha kungenxa ye misebenzi yakho ukhule ke, Diba omhle ungakhokhobi, ngoba sisafuna ukuyihamba nawe lendlela kude sifike kwimpumelelo yanaphakade.
Landelwa Mpiti
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

So long Tata o mkhulu, MADIBA. May your day be filled with vigour for us to draw an inspiration. Imbued as an African son for the emancipation of Africa. Halala, Tata, Halala.
Tebogo Makube, Thabang Lepati and Andile Mahlangu
Kwa Thema, Springs

Dear Madiba, what an honour to share a birthday with such a wonderful person! Happy birthday and may you still have many happy years!
Margo Henegan
Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Happy Birthday Madiba. You have been an inspiration to me my whole life. Meeting you was the most fulfilling moment of my life. I wish you the best for the following year and the years to come. My daughter is now 8 months old and I know that it is because of you that she will have a safer, better future. God Bless you. I wish you endless happiness and love.
Anuka Baijoo
Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

We wish you a wonderful birthday and many more to come.
Sun Couriers
Durban, South Africa

Madiba, have a great day as your life personifies what a true patriot will do under the most trying circumstances. May your life be an example to the rest of Africa. You were at the apex and relinquished power with no fuss. May you live for the next 20 years.
Geoff and Jean Devereux
Fairland, Johannesburg, South Africa

Dear Madiba, you are an absolute inspiration for everyone all over the world. The way you conduct yourself simply captivates everyone irrespective of colour, nationality or culture. When I look at you I do not see a person, I see a country rich in culture, history, diversity and a beacon of strength. Let the world know there is only one Madiba and we all love him. Even though I have not met you, your strength and love radiates throughout the world. Go Well Dad, Father of our land.
Saras Reddy
Pinetown, South Africa

On behalf of me and my family, I would like to wish you a very happy birthday.
Merlin Naicker
Richards Bay, South Africa

Tata Madiba, Happy Birthday and I wish you have many more to come. We love you; now please don’t forget that!!!!!!!
Pretoria, South Africa

Tata, it’s with great joy that I wish you a happy and blessed 85th birthday. you are indeed a great father to us all.
Jennifer Vergeer

Our Dearest Madiba , I wish you Love, Peace and Happiness on your very special day.
Justine Lacey
Johannesburg, South Africa

Tata Madiba, you are an icon to others, a great leader to others, a father to others, a grandfather to others, a comforter to others, a glimmer of hope to others, a source of strength to others. However, to me you are a Saint and all of the above. Happy Birthday, Tata.
Pretoria, South Africa

Wishing you a happy birthday. May you see many more. God bless and keep you well.
Pete Gopaulsingh
Isipingo, Durban, South Africa

You are an inspiration to me, Madiba, and you represent Hope for mankind.
Dr. Martin B. Mgangira
South End, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Hope you have a fantastic day. You are the greatest!!
Santa Falkner
Pretoria, South Africa

May you have a wonderful birthday and may God continue to bless you.
Jody Marinus
Cape Town, South Africa

Mkhulu Madiba ndoda yamadoda uliqhawe ndoda ngiyakuhlonipha futhi nomhlaba wonke uyakuhlonipha. Uliqhawe Tata, ube nosuku lokuzalwa oluyintokozo. Happy birthday Madiba. Indodana, Nhlanhla.
Nhlanhla Maphalala
Secunda, Mpumalanga, South Africa

On the Planet Earth, there very few individuals like you. You are a leader of the leaders, you are God’s wonderful tool to free the South Africa Nation. Without you South Africa was going to be involved in a civil war, but you managed to promote peace and stability, which is something to the whole world right now. Ntatemoholo Nelson, you are a star who is here to brighten the dark life of poor little children, the lives of South Africans,lives of Africans, and the lives of everyone who is living on this planet. When one talks of a Hero, that’s you; not only of South Africa but of the world, Hero. May God keep you for a long, long time so that we can continue drink from your river of humanity, peace , strong leadership with no compromise for self interests, but of standing still and focusing on what is good for the nation. Ntatemoholo may you see many, many more years to come. “HAPPY BIRTHDAY”.
Paseka Nkhoesa
Clermont, Durban, South Africa

Dear Mr Mandela, we at the Joint Senior Command and Staff Program wish you a Happy Birthday and hope that your dreams still come true.
South African National War College Senior Staff Course 2003
Pretoria, South Africa

How magnificence, humility, courage and love can be combined in one man is a treasure I (and all South Africans) am proud to acknowledge and accept. You are a wonderful person. Happy Birthday Madiba! Have a beautiful day!
Avril McMahon
Cape Town, South Africa

Happy birthday to a great man. Have a wonderful birthday.
Delene Cape
Westville, Natal, South Africa

“Diba, Yemyem” I am honoured to have lived and seen you changing South Africa to be a beautiful rainbow nation. I will take this treasure and gift that you gave us as South Africans and tell of it to my children and great grandchildren. May God grant you all your wishes. Ukhule kodwa ungakhokhobi Diba. Happy Birthday.
Phumeza Tshipana
Jwaneng, Botswana

The spirits of all the revolutionaries and freedom fighters of this world smile blessings upon you. Happy birthday, Madiba
Dr. Mags, Peris and Sanushka
Durban, South Africa

Beloved Madiba, Patron Saint of Democracy, for the entire,,world, I thank Almighty God for gracing the world with you. May The Almighty Bless You Now and Forever. Thank you for the great inspiration that you are to all of us. Thank You for being there in my life time. I am sorry for the pain that you endured on my behalf. I thank you for your forgiveness, love, wisdom and understanding.
John Kalidas
Sunnyside, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

Khula Tata ungakhokhobi wanga uThixo wobaw’omkhulu anganawe kuba sisafuna amava kuwe nkonde yakokwethu.Kulo mbele ubhonxileyo sisafuna kwanya.ndikunqwenelela amathamsanqa neentsikelelo kwimihla yokuphila kwakho.
Enkosi Nonkululo Balele
Maclear, South Africa