Serenade Nelson Mandela on His Birthday

Up to 12 million South African schoolchildren and other well-wishers around the world will sing to Madiba on Monday, July 18.

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Stevie Wonder just might have some competition on his hands. We're sure you know of his "Happy Birthday" paean to slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Well, on Monday, an estimated 12 million South African pupils will sing a birthday song to Nelson Mandela. The nationwide sing-along to Madiba on his 93rd birthday is a joint initiative between LeadSA, the Department of Education and the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Cape Argus reports.

"Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has issued a directive to all schools to assemble and a message will be read asking them to give 67 minutes of their time to a good cause," says the paper.

It's a fitting tribute for the former South African president and anti-apartheid activist, who was imprisoned for nearly three decades.

Part of the lyrics of the Mandela birthday song -- which are also available on LeadSA's Facebook page -- are as follows:

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday, dear Tata
Happy birthday to you
We love you, Tata
We love you, Tata
We love you, dear Tata
Happy birthday to you.
Nelson Mandela thina siyakuthanda unguTata wethu. UTata wethu.
Nelson Mandela thina siyakuthanda. UnguTata wethu. UTata wethu.
Nelson Mandela thina siyakuthanda unguTata wethu. UTata wethu.
Nelson Mandela thina siyakuthanda. UnguTata wethu. UTata wethu.
Happy birthday, Nelson Mandela unguTata wethu. UTata wethu.
Happy birthday, Nelson Mandela unguTata wethu. UTata wethu.
Happy birthday, Nelson Mandela unguTata wethu. UTata wethu.

Madiba's birthday song ends with "Hip, hip ... hooray!!!"

Read more at Cape Argus.

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