Local relative remembers Nelson Mandela

Posted at: 12/13/2013 6:28 PM
By: Jen Samp, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Friday was the last day for members of the public to see South Africa’s president before he is laid to rest.

On Sunday, Nelson Mandela will be buried in his ancestral village.

Mandela was an icon for people all over the world a symbol of reconciliation in the face of adversity.

Lungile Sinandile describes Nelson Mandela’s Memorial this week as a time of celebration.

“When we feel distressed you will hear us singing it doesn't matter where,” he said. “We just keep on singing.”

He just returned Thursday from South Africa after paying his respects to his great uncle.

"We are in the same family tree,” he said.

He says his family came to the states in 1981. They left during the peak of turmoil in his country, yet, he recalls meeting a man of hope.

“There is one thing I like with him is that he is a man of integrity,” he said, “We believed in him.”

To live up to the bloodline, Sinandilie brings hope to his home in Albuquerque.

He and his wife Nkazi, began an organization that helps local immigrants and refugees in need just as Mandela would.

“He has given everyone self-worth and dignity because those years of oppression were very heavy on us,” Nkazi said.

“This is what Mandela wanted us to do,” Sinandilie said, “To help other people and be selfless.”