The world lost an extraordinary man. Nelson Mandela, 95, died Thursday at his home outside Johannesburg after a long battle with lung infections and other ailments. The civil rights activist, freedom fighter and father is gone, but will never be forgotten—and these notable Latinas remember the anti-apartheid icon and former president of South Africa:
Panameña and award-winning journalist Gwen Ifill penned a piece for PBS NewsHour about her first encounter with Mandela, which involved the politician dismissing her question during a news conference. But there was a much-needed lesson in the exchange and Ifill doesn’t regret the exchange. She writes, “What I appreciate most about the life of Nelson Mandela was how it gave the rest of the world a path into the story of upheaval, reconciliation and forgiveness that defined his post-prison experience. It gave the story a necessary face.”
The Puerto Rican y Dominican actress Zoe Saldana took to Twitter to share her thoughts on Mandela’s passing:
Acaba de morir Un ángel sagrado hoy. #RIPNelsonMandela. Que dios lo tenga en su Gloria Divina.
— Zoe Saldana (@zoesaldana) December 6, 2013
The top model Instagram’d a picture of the activist.
— Sessilee Lopez (@TheRealSessilee) December 5, 2013
Known to music fans as Sheila E., Ms. Escovedo, like many, viewed Mandela as a game changer.
— SheilaEdrummer (@SheilaEdrummer) December 6, 2013
CNN vet and CEO of Starfish Media Group retweeted several colleagues, with the most recent tweet from Debra Lee, stating:
Today is the national day of prayer and reflection in South Africa. What an amazing life to remember and be grateful for. @NelsonMandela
— Debra Lee (@IamDebraLee) December 8, 2013
The media personality-turned-entrepreneur shared one of Mandela’s powerful quotes with her Instagram fam. It reads:
Rest in Heaven beautiful soul. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. For all your sacrifices. For your… http://t.co/Fgi72CKWgB
— LA LA (@lala) December 5, 2013
Colombian journalist Ilia Calderón expressed her sadness on social media, tweeting:
— ilia calderon (@iliacalderon) December 5, 2013
Actress Rosario Dawson, who is of Afro-Cuban and Puerto Rican descent, among other ethnicities, retweeted a posting from Mandela’s verified account, which reads:
“Death is something inevitable.When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people&his country,he can rest in peace” #Madiba
— NelsonMandela (@NelsonMandela) December 5, 2013
The global giant fearlessly worked to make this world a better place, even refusing release from his 27-year prison bid until after other political prisoners were freed and his political organization, the African National Congress, was unbanned. I’ll remember Mandela by standing firm for what’s right and pushing the envelope, even if it means standing alone at times.
This Sunday South Africa is honoring the historic leader during a national day of prayer and reflection. How will you remember Mandela? Let me know in the comments section, below, or on Twitter (@aintilatina) or Facebook.