How the Awards Have Just Kept Flooding In

Cape Times (South Africa), July 18, 2012 | Go to article overview

How the Awards Have Just Kept Flooding In


FROM Boksburg to Belgrade, he's been awarded the freedom of the city, and he's even an honorary member of the world's most valuable sports team - Manchester United.

Over his 94 years, most of them dedicated to the Struggle, Nelson Mandela has been given more than 250 awards, accolades, prizes, honorary degrees and citizenships across the world.

His first honorary award was in 1964, when University College London, made him the honorary president of its "Students' Butt" - though the jury's out on what that is.

Nevertheless, it was the beginning of an illustrious streak of award-collecting from every corner of the globe.

Not to be outdone, in 1965 the University of Leeds students' union elected Mandela as its honorary president and eight years later - in 1973 - university scientists discovered a nuclear particle which they named the "Mandela particle".

In 1987, during the darkest days of apartheid and Madiba's 27-year-long imprisonment, Dutch soccer player Ruud Gullit dedicated his European Footballer of the Year Award to Mandela.

Two years later, Nuremberg Platz in Germany was renamed "Nelson Mandela Platz", and the next year the first Madiba public holiday was proclaimed in Zimbabwe, on March 5.

The father of the nation has also been the beneficiary of some "firsts" and "lasts".

In 1983 the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation awarded its first Simon Bolivar International Prize jointly to Mandela and King Juan Carlos of Spain. …

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