15 December 2013

South Africa: Light Moment on Solemn Day

Qunu — Guests at the state funeral of Nelson Mandela in Qunu in the Eastern Cape laughed as his granddaughter reminisced about the former president's mischievous nature on Sunday.

The loudest giggles were heard when Nandi Mandela recounted the infamous chicken-courting story.

It was about the embarrassment of a young Mandela when he couldn't get a piece of chicken onto his fork during a dinner in which he was trying to impress a love interest.

He insisted that the chicken had danced away.

The audience was attentive and responsive as Nandi's stories wove a more intimate and personal portrait of the former president.

Before Nandi spoke, her cousin, Ndaba, commandingly read through an obituary of their grandfather.

However, there was a reprieve from some of the solemnity of the occasion, when Nandi later told the guests that Mandela used to make Ndaba pick up his clothes when he left them carelessly around when he was a child.

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