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Someone You Should Know: Ruslana Lyzhychko, Ukrainian Activist.


 

By Jueseppi B.

Ruslana_at_a_press_conference_in_Kiev

 

Why did Michelle Obama give a Ukrainian pop star the Women of Courage award?

First lady Michelle Obama with Eurovision singer Ruslana Lyzhychko of Ukranie. (Jewel Samad/ AFP/Getty Images)

First lady Michelle Obama with Eurovision singer Ruslana Lyzhychko of Ukranie. (Jewel Samad/ AFP/Getty Images)

 

On Tuesday morning, first lady Michelle Obama and Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom presented 10 women from around the world the Secretary of State’s Women of Courage award. They include a pioneer of the human rights movement in Tajikistan, a prominent leader in the field of maternal health and … a pop music star who won Eurovision in 2004?

 

These women are being recognized for their “exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment, often at great personal risk.”

 

So how does a pop star from Ukraine make the list?

 

Ruslana Lyzhychko — her fans call her Ruslana, first name only, like Madonna — rose to fame when she won the Eurovision competition for her performance of the song “Wild Dances.”  For the uninitiated, Eurovision is a “song contest” between representative musicians and bands from European countries. Winners include many well-known names including ABBA and Celine Dion, but the competition is best-known for its often over-the-top and cheesy music. It’s been described as “kitschy, genre-bending, makes no sense” and even “a trainwreck dry ice, pleather, men in boxes, operatic vampires and unfortunate babydoll outfits

 

These days, Ruslana sings with the protesters in Kiev’s Independence Square.

 

She took the streets during the November protests and quickly became a voice of the protesters. Ruslana spent long, cold nights onstage, often at the iconic blue piano, singing and rallying crowds as riot police rounded in. Her longest performances on the protests stage – singing her own songs and the national anthem – lasted up to 10 hours.

 

“I think of myself as a volunteer … showing people that we need to be here because there is no other way,” she said to Reuters in December. “Russia is our past, Europe must be our future,” she explained.

 

Even though Ruslana continues to be best known for her music, this isn’t the pop star’s first foray into politics. Her career in activism and humanitarian work began long before the protests started in 2013. She was an active participant in the 2004 Orange Revolution, became the first ever UNICEF National Ambassador in Ukraine in 2005, was speaking out for renewable energy in 2008 and now acts as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

 

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Ruslana Lyzhychko (UkrainianРуслана ЛижичкоRuslana Lyžyčko; born on 24 May 1973), known mononymously as Ruslana, is a World Music Award and Eurovision Song Contest winning artist, holding the title of People’s Artist of Ukraine. She is also a former MP serving as deputy in the Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna Rada) for the Our Ukraine Party. Ruslana is the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in Ukraine. She is recognized as the most successful Ukrainian female solo artist internationally and was included in the top 10 most influential women of 2013 by the Forbes magazine. The U.S. Secretary of State honored her with the Woman of Courage Award in March 2014.

 

Ukrainian Pop Singer Ruslana Lyzhychko Receives Woman Of Courage Award

 

Published on Mar 4, 2014

Ukrainian pop singer Ruslana Lyzhychko received the International Women of Courage award at a ceremony in Washington on Tuesday (March 4) for her commitment to non-violence and national unity in the face of government corruption.

 

“Ruslana joined the demonstrations, spending her days on streets and her nights sleeping in cold tents, and every evening, in the face of impending police attacks and death threats, she performed the Ukrainian national anthem for the other demonstrators to reinforce the promise of a diverse and unified Ukraine,” U.S. Deputy Secretary Of State Heather Higginbottom said during the event at the State Department. U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama attended the ceremony.

 

Russell spoke about how Ruslana sang the Ukrainian national anthem night after night in Kiev, and calmed protesters one December evening, as news of a impending security sweep by Ukrainian riot police spread through the crowd.

 

“Anyone who was there that night will tell you how her rallying cries steadied the nerves of the protesters, giving them the courage they needed to successfully withstand more than two thousand riot police. They will tell you how crowds cheered as eventually the police retreated from a standoff that was intense, but ultimately peaceful. And, they will tell you how that night will go down in history as one of the EuroMaiden’s movement’s most amazing displays of unity and determination,” Higginbottom added.

 

The Ukrainian Eurovision song contest winner pushed her voice to the limit belting out songs nightly to keep up the morale of protesters camped out a snowy Kiev square, emerging as an unlikely figurehead of movement to oust President Viktor Yanukovich.

 

The Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award honors women who have showed courage to advocate human rights, equality and social progress, according to the State Department website.

http://www.theshortpenguin.com

 

 

 

 

Ruslana-Lyzhychko

 

She is a singer, songwriter, producer, musical conductor, multi-instrumentalist, dancer, voice actress and social activist. She writes, composes and produces her own songs and music videos. Since 28 December 1995 she has been married to Oleksandr Ksenofontov, a Ukrainian record producer. Together they have run the company Luxen Studio since 1993, producing radio and film trailers.

 

Ruslana was the first artist coming out from the former Soviet Union to officially receive a platinum disc, her Dyki tantsi album selling more than 170,000 copies in the first 100 days after its release, even without a supporting tour. This album is the best selling Ukrainian album to date, together with its English version, more than 1,000,000 copies being sold solely in Ukraine.

 

She won the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Wild Dances receiving 280 points, which at that time was a record of points. Following her victory, she rose to fame in Europe and became one of the biggest pop stars from the Eastern part of the continent. Her winning songWild Dances has dominated the European charts for 97 weeks peaking at number one in Belgiumfor 10 consecutive weeks. Later that year, she received a World Music Award in Las Vegas.

 

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Also in 2004, she was among the top 15 performers in a ranking conducted in Belgium with her singles “Wild Dances” and “Dance with the Wolves“. Ruslana was named the most popular person in Belgium, the sexiest girl in Greece, the most influential public person in Ukraine and was the first foreigner who received the award of the Federation of Journalists in Turkey.

 

In 2005, Ruslana designed the cover for Jonathan Safran Foer‘s “The Unabridged Pocket Book of Lightening” which was produced as part of Penguin Books‘ 70th birthday celebrations.

 

In 2006, her song “Wild Dances” has been named the best ever Eurovision winning song by a survey arranged by the German public television broadcaster ARD. During the television program Grand Prix HitlisteWild Dances was presented as the winner, ahead of famous songs, such as Waterloo and Germany’s only winner (at the time), Ein Bißchen Frieden, which finished sixth and twelfth, respectively. The programme was viewed by a television audience of approximately six million people in Germany.

 

In 2008, she was elected by Rockstar Games to play ‘DJ Ruslana’ in the open world action-adventure video game Grand Theft Auto IV. The Ukrainian version of her song Wild Dances has been featured on the soundtrack of the game and became one of the most popular tunes among the fans. Grand Theft Auto IV broke the Guinness World Records for “Highest grossing video game in 24 hours” and “Highest Revenue Generated by an Entertainment Product in 24 Hours”. It sold 3.6 million copies on day one, which equalled roughly $310 million in revenue. Also in 2008, she signed a major contract with Warner Music for the worldwide release of her second international album called Wild Energy.

 

In 2009, she was invited to attend the 6th Asia Song Festival which took place in SeoulKorea. Even if she was supposed to receive only an award for her contribution to the cultural exchange between Ukraine and Asia in music, in the end she also won the main award of the festival, receiving the golden statue for the best artist of the Asia Song Festival 2009.

 

In 2011, her song Wild Dances has been used by the American gymnast Jordyn Wieber as the soundtrack for her floor exercise. Wieber eventually became the 2011 World Women’s All-Around Champion and won the golden medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics performing her floor exercise on Ruslana’s song.

 

 

THE BEST NATIONAL ANTHEM OF UKRAINE, RUSLANA, LIGHTS, 11.12.2013 KIEV, THE INDEPENDENCE SQUARE

 

 

 

Ruslana reading out an official resolution of Euromaidan, 29 November 2013

Ruslana reading out an official resolution of Euromaidan, 29 November 2013

 

Political activities

 

2004: Orange Revolution

In autumn 2004 Ruslana actively supported the democratic processes in Ukraine known as the Orange Revolution, to which her song “Dance with the Wolves” was devoted. She declared her support for Viktor Yushchenko during the disputed Ukrainian presidential elections. She became one of the prominent figures that addressed the mass crowds rallying in support of Yushchenko’s demand that his original defeat be declared fraudulent. From spring 2006 to summer 2007 she was a Member of the Ukrainian Parliament for the party Our Ukraine.

 

Due to political reasons the music video supporting her second single extracted from the Wild Dances album, Dance with the Wolves was censored in Russia as it contains fragments showing Ruslana in the Independence Square.

 

Ruslana endorsed Yulia Tymoshenko during the 2010 Ukrainian presidential election and actively supported her candidature during the election campaign.

 

In December 2012 Ruslana launched the human rights campaign Не мовчи (Don’t keep silent) which challenges the juridical system of Ukraine. In particular she supports the case of Dmytro and Sergiy Pavlichenko who claim to have been forced to admit a murder they have not committed. The father and son were convicted of killing a judge of a district court in Kyiv and sentenced to life imprisonment and 13 years in prison respectively. The verdict was widely criticized mainly by football fans. Ruslana dedicated her song and video Це – Ей-форі-Я (This is Euphoria) to the case of the Pavlichenkos who according to her are victims of a misjudgement.

 

 

Ruslana with José Manuel Barroso and Henri Malosse at the Plenary Session of the EESC in Brussels

Ruslana with José Manuel Barroso and Henri Malosse at the Plenary Session of the EESC in Brussels

 

 

2013–2014: Euromaidan

In November 2013, she was one of the leading figures of Euromaidan which were a series of protests in Ukraine that began on November 22, 2013, when Ukrainian citizens started spontaneous protests in the capital of UkraineKiev. On the previous day, on November 21, 2013, the Ukrainian government suspended preparations for signing an Association Agreementwith the European Union.

 

She was one of the leading figures of the protests. Since the second week of protest she has been on the stage on Kiev‘s Maidan Nezalezhnosti virtually all night (up to ten hours a night). In an 11 December interview with The Daily Beast she explained her role in the opposition as “charging Maidan with freedom-loving energy” and insisted she “hated” politics. And has denied supporting any single leader. Ruslana also stated “if needed, I will sing every night in Maidan until next presidential election in 2015”. Two make-up artists were at her disposal during the protest.

 

As the protest leader, Ruslana noted the presence of paid provocateurs who have instigated fights in the otherwise peaceful protests.

Her involvement in the pro-European movement from Kiev has been featured on many international publications, Ruslana being regarded as a true heroine of Ukraine. While the German press regarded her as ‘Kiev’s queen of the night’, the Spanish newspaper El Mundo compared her to Jeanne d’Arc. Due to her active involvement in the EuroMaidan, Ruslana has been compared to Katniss Everdeen, the main heroine of The Hunger Games trilogy.

 

Due to active role in the protests, she was included in the top 10 most successful women of 2013 by the Forbes magazine. Also, she was named ‘person of the year’ by the Business Ukraine magazine.

 

In order to demand from the EU support for the EuroMaidan revolution Ruslana met in Brussels with key EU officials including José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and Henri Malosse, President of theEuropean Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in January 2014. After her speech at the 495th Plenary Session a resolution was adopted by the EESC which supports the Ukrainian civil society and its democratic rights.

 

 

Social commitment

 

First Lady Michelle Obama and Deputy Secretary Heather Higginbottom pose for a photo with 2014 Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award Winner Ruslana Lyzhychko

First Lady Michelle Obama and Deputy Secretary Heather Higginbottom pose for a photo with 2014 Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award Winner Ruslana Lyzhychko

 

Ruslana was appointed Good Will Ambassador of Ukraine by the UNICEF and combats trafficking in human beings. She released two video clips which aim to make potential victims aware of the dangers of human trafficking. In February 2008 Ruslana performed at an anti-human trafficking event in Vienna, Austria, organized by UN.GIFT (The United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking) in front of 117 international delegations. Her song Not for Sale became the anthem of the anti-trafficking campaign.

 

Within the frames of the Eurovision Song Contest 2005 in Kiev she gave a charity concert for children suffering from the consequences of the Chernobyl tragedy. For another charity project Ruslana joined forces with German rock star Peter Maffay. In April/May 2007 they went together with artists from 14 countries on a four weeks tour through Germany. The funds gathered benefited children in need.

 

Ruslana has also staged numerous charity concerts benefiting Children’s hospitals in KievLviv and Dnipropetrovsk.

 

With her project Wild Energy Ruslana supports the use of renewable energy. She regards the energy of the sun, the water and the wind as an energy independence. The project gradually developed into this bigger meaning. Ruslana wants to make people aware of the dangers of global climate change.

 

After large regions in Western Ukraine were hit by a flood in July 2008 Ruslana set up the co-ordinating and relief centre Carpathians. Flood. SOS! 2008. The aim of the centre is to create a database of the people in need, to provide emergency humanitarian help and to collect and distribute donations both from the public and from other Ukrainian artists and sportsmen to support the victims of the flood.

 

 

Ruslana Lyzhychko
Ruslana in Kiev.JPG

Ruslana speaking during a press conference in
Kiev, Ukraine in May 2012
Background information
Native name Руслана Лижичко
Birth name Ruslana Stepanivna Lyzhychko

(Руслана Степанівна Лижичко)

Also known as Ruslana (Руслана)
Born 24 May 1973 (age 40)
LvivUkrainian SSR
Origin Ukraine Ukrainian
Genres Pop, ethno-pop
Occupations Singer, dancer, producer, composer,

conductor, pianist, lyricst, voice actress,

former politician, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador

, activist

Instruments Vocals, piano, guitar, drums, keyboards,

trembita, tambourine

Years active 1996–present
Labels EMIWarner Music Group
Associated acts T-PainMissy ElliottGoran Bregović,

Slavi Trifonov,Varvara, Harem,

Helmut Lotti,Peter Maffay, “Zhittya” Ballet

Website www.ruslana.ua

 

 

Ruslana Lyzhychko Facebook Page.

 

 

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The Songstress Ms. Alicia Keys


 

By Jueseppi B.

Ms. Alicia Keys attends the 56th GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on January 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

Ms. Alicia Keys attends the 56th GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on January 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

 

 

Alicia Keys & Maxwell - Fire We Make

 

Published on Apr 23, 2013

Music video by Alicia Keys & Maxwell performing Fire We Make.

 

 

 

 

Alicia Keys - You Don’t Know My Name

 

Published on Jun 12, 2011

Music video by Alicia Keys performing You Don’t Know My Name.

 

 

 

56th GRAMMY Awards - Red Carpet

 

 

Alicia Keys - If I Ain’t Got You

 

Uploaded on Oct 25, 2009

Music video by Alicia Keys performing If I Ain’t Got You.

 

 

 

 

Usher & Alicia Keys – My Boo

 

Uploaded on Mar 17, 2011

Music video by Usher & Alicia Keys performing My Boo.

 

 

 

 

Alicia Keys - Un-thinkable (I’m Ready)

 

Uploaded on May 11, 2010

Music video by Alicia Keys performing Un-thinkable (I’m Ready).

 

 

 

 

Alicia Keys – Diary

 

 

 

 

Alicia Keys - Fallin’

 

 

 

 

Alicia Keys - Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart

 

 

 

This year's Grammy Awards will be broadcast live on Sunday from 8 to 11:30 p.m. Eastern and Pacific time on CBS

This year’s Grammy Awards will be broadcast live on Sunday from 8 to 11:30 p.m. Eastern and Pacific time on CBS

 

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WWE TLC (Tables Ladders And Chairs) Match 2013 Results: A NEW Unified Title!


 

By Jueseppi B.

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From The LA Times:

 

WWE TLC results: Did John Cena or Randy Orton walk away as champion?

by Houston Mitchell

 

Sunday brought us another WWE pay-per-view event, this time “TLC”, short for Tables, Ladders and Chairs. The main event: Unifying the WWE championship and the World Heavyweight Championship with a match between John Cena and Randy Orton. The results of the entire card:

 

FANDANGO VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER

Fandango won with a legdrop off the top rope as the decline of Ziggler, who should be one of the top stars on the roster, continues.

 

 
C.M. PUNK VS. THE SHIELD

The break-up of The Shield continues, as Punk won this one after Roman Reigns accidentally speared Dean Ambrose.

 

 

A.J. LEE VS. NATALYA FOR THE DIVAS TITLE

A.J. won after turning Natalya’s sharpshooter into a small package (with a little help from some hair pulling).

 

 

BIG E LANGSTON VS. DAMIEN SANDOW FOR THE INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE
Langston retained the title easily with the Big Ending.

 

 

THE RHODES BROTHERS VS. THE REAL AMERICANS VS. REY MYSTERIO & BIG SHOW VS. RYBACK & CURTIS AXEL FOR THE TAG TEAM TITLES IN AN ELIMINATION MATCH

Goldust pinned Ryback for the first elimination. Big Show then used the knockout punch on The Real Americans and pinned Antonio Cesaro to eliminate them. Cody Rhodes pinned Mysterio after a CrossRhodes. Cody Rhodes and Goldust retained the titles.

 

 
BRODUS CLAY VS. R-TRUTH

Clay dominated the match, but instead of pinning Truth, just kept beating him up. Clay’s tag-team partner, Tensai, and the Funkadactyls told him to just pin Truth. While Clay was yelling at them, Truth schoolboyed Clay and got the pin.

 

 

THE MIZ VS. KOFI KINGSTON

Kingston won with the Trouble in Paradise.

 

 

DANIEL BRYAN VS. THE WYATT FAMILY

Bray Wyatt used his Sister Abigail finisher for the win and kept telling Bryan to join his family, which hopefully won’t happen.

 

 

JOHN CENA VS. RANDY ORTON IN A TLC MATCH IN A TITLE UNIFICATION MATCH

 

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Orton won after a creative finish. Orton handcuffed Cena to the ropes and began to climb the ladder to grab the belt and win. Cena undid the ropes from the turnbuckles and knocked Orton off the ladder. When Cena was climbing the ladder, Orton pulled on the ropes, yanking Cena off the ladder and sending him head-first into a table. Orton then climbed the ladder and won.
Thank you The LA Times.

 

Randy Orton prepares to yank John Cena from the ladder during their title unification match. (WWE / December 16, 2013) http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-sn-wwe-tlc-results-john-cena-randy-orton-20131216,0,3340861.story#ixzz2nf7PQsR6

Randy Orton prepares to yank John Cena from the ladder during their title unification match. (WWE / December 16, 2013)

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At The Movies With TheObamaCrat™: Hours, Starring Paul Walker.


 

By Jueseppi B.

hours-2013

 

 

Hours is an upcoming 2013 American thriller film directed and written by Eric Heisserer. The film stars Paul WalkerGénesis RodríguezTJ Hassan, and Judd Lormand. The film premiered in America on March 10, 2013 at the South by Southwest Film Festival.

 

Before sunrise on August 29, 2005, Nolan Hayes arrives at a New Orleans hospital with his pregnant wife, Abigail, who has gone into early labor. What should be one of the happiest days of Nolan’s life quickly spirals out of control when the birth goes tragically wrong and Hurricane Katrina ravages the hospital, forcing an evacuation. Told to stay with his child, who is on a ventilator, and await transfer by ambulance, Nolan and his newborn are soon cut off from the world by power outages and rising floodwaters. When no one returns to help, Nolan faces one life-and-death decision after another, fighting to keep his daughter alive, as minute-by-agonizing minute passes, becoming unimaginable “Hours.”

 

Release date: December 13, 2013 (USA)

 

Hours
Hours2013Poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Eric Heisserer
Produced by Peter Safran
Written by Eric Heisserer
Starring
Music by Benjamin Wallfisch
Cinematography Jaron Presant
Editing by Sam Bauer
Studio
Distributed by Pantelion Films
(Through Lionsgate)
Release dates December 13, 2013

(March 10, 2013 at the

South by Southwest Film Festival)

Country United States
Language English
Budget $4 million

 

 

Trailer : Hours TRAILER (2013) – Paul Walker Movie HD

 

 

 

 

Hours Official Trailer #1 (2013) – Paul Walker Movie HD

 

 

 

Plot

The film is set in 2005, during the ravages of Hurricane Katrina. Nolan (Paul Walker) is the father of a newborn baby, and what should be one of the happiest days of Nolan’s life quickly spirals out of control during the wake of a hurricane that floods the hospital and causes failures in the power supply, Nolan faces a life-or-death situation when no one returns to help and struggles on his own to keep his infant daughter alive inside a Neonatal incubator, as minute-by-minute passes, the ventilator runs out of power and the minutes become long hours.

 

Cast

  • Paul Walker as Nolan
  • Génesis Rodríguez as Abigail
  • TJ Hassan as Jeremy
  • Nick Gomez as Jerry
  • Judd Lormand as Glenn
  • Michelle Torres as Hurricane Katrina Victim
  • Kerry Cahill as Nurse Shelly
  • Yohance Myles as Dr. Edmonds
  • Natalia Safran as Karen
  • Elton LeBlanc as Paramedic
  • Tony Bentley as Doctor
  • Emily D. Haley as Patient
  • Christopher Matthew Cook as Lenny
  • Cynthia LeBlanc as Head Nurse
  • Lena Clark as Lucy

 

Reception

Variety film critic Joe Leydon reflected on Hours as “an ingeniously simple setup is cunningly exploited for maximum suspense.” Film critic Steve Pulaski of Influx Magazine stated, “Hours works because, once more, it proves a little story can go a long way thematically and that bigger, deeper themes can surface when there’s small-scale filmmaking at hand.”

 

 

Hours Film

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Continuous Live Coverage Of Nelson Mandela Memorial On South African TV Channel SABC


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Continuous live coverage of Nelson Mandela Memorial events on South African channel SABC

 

 

 

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Nelson Mandela’s Funeral, Farewell Plans – Day By Day Schedule. The President & First Lady Will Attend.

 

Thank you CNN:

 

By Robyn Curnow, CNN

 

Johannesburg (CNN) – For the Xhosa people of South Africa, death is traditionally not something to be talked about or to be planned for, no matter how inevitable or close it may seem.

 

But those close to Nelson Mandela had little choice as the country’s first black leader lay in a Pretoria hospital and then at home in Johannesburg on life support.

 

In the final years of his life, secret plans were hammered out between the government, the military and his family as they prepared for a fitting farewell for a great man.

 

Below is a breakdown of how those plans will unfold over the next 10 days, culminating in a state funeral to be broadcast to millions worldwide and a very private farewell for those closest to him.

 

As is often the case with events of this magnitude, plans might change due to weather, security and other factors. But for now, this is what the authorities and the family hope will happen.

 

According to multiple sources involved with the planning of the final farewell to the South African icon, the 10 days of mourning will combine both Western traditions and those of the Thembu, Mandela’s native clan.

 

 

Day 1 to Day 4

Mandela passed away at 8.50 p.m. Thursday (1.50 p.m. ET), surrounded by his family, South African President Jacob Zuma said. CNN understands that during his final hours, Mandela would have also been surrounded by Thembu elders. Importantly, at some stage – either at his home or in the mortuary – the traditional leaders will gather for a first ceremony, a tradition called “the closing of the eyes.”

 

Throughout the ceremony, they’ll be talking to Mandela, as well as to his tribal ancestors, to explain what’s happening at each and every stage to ease the transition from life to beyond.

 

After the ceremony, it’s believed Mandela’s body will be embalmed at the mortuary, which is understood to be a military hospital in Pretoria.

 

 

Day 5

No formal public events will be held until five days after Mandela’s death when tens of thousands of people are expected to converge on the FNB Stadium, known as Soccer City in Soweto for a memorial service.

 

It was at that stadium that in July 2010 Mandela made his last public appearance at the World Cup final.

 

Spectators rose to their feet, their cheers partly drowned out by the deafening shriek of thousands of vuvuzelas to pay tribute to the then-92- year-old who some had feared might be too infirm to show up.

 

In stark contrast to the mood of elation, the atmosphere on Day 5 is expected to hang heavy with grief as a nation mourns Madiba.

 

It is unclear whether Mandela’s casket will be there.

 

Some world leaders might attend this memorial service instead of the state funeral later on in the week.

 

A White House Official tells CNN the administration is working on plans for President Barack Obama to travel to South Africa to attend the memorial service.

 

 

Day 6 to 8

According to sources, Mandela’s body will then lie in state for three days at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, the seat of power of the South African government.

 

The first day will be reserved for dignitaries. The public will be allowed to file past his casket on days 7 and 8. Viewing hours are expected to be limited to daylight. Long lines will likely form from the very early hours of the morning.

 

It was at the historic Union Buildings that Mandela was inaugurated as president on May 10, 1994. On that extraordinary day, crowds converged around the building to witness history being made. That day, a former political prisoner achieved what was once unthinkable and became South Africa’s first post-apartheid black leader.

 

 

Day 9

Nine days after Mandela’s death, a military aircraft will leave a Pretoria airbase and fly south to Mthatha, the main town in the South African province of Eastern Cape.

 

Thembu elders and members of the Mandela family make the journey with Mandela’s casket.

 

Thousands of mourners are expected to line the streets from Mthatha airport to watch as the military transports Mandela’s casket on a gun carriage to the remote village of Qunu, where the former leader spent his childhood years.

 

Along the way the procession is expected to pause for prayers to allow ordinary South Africans to pay their respects.

 

Once at Mandela’s house, the military will formally pass responsibility for his remains to his family.

 

The South African flag that is expected to be draped over the coffin will be replaced with a traditional Xhosa blanket, symbolizing the return of one of their own.

 

At dusk, ANC leaders, local chiefs and Mandela’s family are expected to gather for a private night vigil before a very public funeral the next day.

 

 

Day 10

The funeral and burial will be on the grounds of Mandela’s Qunu home. It’s expected that thousands of people, including dozens of heads of state, will gather for the state funeral. The funeral will take place under a large tent nestled in the hills where Mandela ran and played as a child.

 

A tight military cordon is expected, in an attempt to assuage security fears. The event will be broadcast to an audience of millions around the world.

 

At midday – when the summer sun is high in the sky – Mandela will be buried into the rocky soil of his homeland. Only a few hundred close family members will bid that final farewell to Mandela as he is laid to rest.

 

The burial area has been especially built for him; some of Mandela’s long deceased family members are already buried at the site.

 

It will be, according to custom, a homecoming.

 

His grave site is surrounded by rocky outcrops, hardy grass used for the grazing cattle and bright orange aloe plants.

 

The aloes are indigenous succulents which are hardy, drought-resistant, medicinal plants that bloom across the bushveld when all else is dry and dull. A symbolic floral gesture to a man whose life was filled with sacrifice and tragedy but who triumphed with a tenacity of spirit and hope in even the darkest of days.

 

 

Obama, First Lady Michelle to South Africa next week for Nelson Mandela memorials

 

WASHINGTON–President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle will travel to South Africa next week for memorial events in the wake of the death of former South Africa President Nelson Mandela, according to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney

 

“President Obama and the First Lady will go to South Africa next week to pay their respects to the memory of Nelson Mandela and to participate in memorial events. We’ll have further updates on timing and logistics as they become available,” Carney said.

 

 

President Obama Expected To Speak At Nelson Mandela Memorial

 

By David Jackson, USA TODAY

 

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama board Air Force One in Maryland on Dec. 9. (Photo: Evan Vucci, AP)

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama board Air Force One in Maryland on Dec. 9.
(Photo: Evan Vucci, AP)

 

President Obama will make remarks on Nelson Mandela’s legacy during a memorial service Tuesday for the late South African freedom fighter, officials said Monday.

 

“We do expect President Obama to speak as part of the program,” said Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications.

 

The president and first lady Michelle Obama departed Monday for Johannesburg, where a Mandela memorial service will be held in a soccer stadium.

 

Obama, who will also spend time with the Mandela family, is not scheduled to hold any bilateral meetings with foreign leaders while in South Africa, Rhodes said.

 

Rhodes also said the U.S. expects to have a delegation at Mandela’s burial on Sunday, but the details are still being worked out.

 

STORY: South Africa prepares for Mandela service

 

Former president George W. Bush and wife Laura are aboard Air Force One with Obama.

 

So is former secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but former president Bill Clinton is traveling separately.

 

Former president Jimmy Carter will also attend the Mandela memorial in South Africa.

 

Meanwhile, Vice President Biden and wife Jill visited the South Africa Embassy in Washington on Monday to sign a condolence book honoring Nelson Mandela.

 

Biden will speak Wednesday at a special memorial service for Mandela to be held at the National Cathedral in Washington.

 

According to the vice president’s office, Biden wrote in the condolence book:

 

“On behalf of the American people, our deepest condolences to the people of South Africa for the passing of Nelson Mandela. But more than that, our profound gratitude — for his compassion, his humility, and his courage.

 

“Through his unflagging, unflinching commitment to human dignity and his willingness to forgive, he inspired us and challenged us all to do better.

 

“He once said that ‘a good head and a good heart is a formidable combination.’ Mandela’s head and heart lifted a nation to freedom. We will continue to keep his spirit alive and strive to live by his example.”

 

Thank you USA TODAY.

 

Statement by the Vice President on the Death of Nelson Mandela

 

Readout of the President’s Call to President Zuma of South Africa

 

Statement by National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice, on the Death of Nelson Mandela of South Africa

 

 

A piece of art outside the Pretoria Heart Hospital on June 30, 2013, in Pretoria, South Africa. (Getty)

A piece of art outside the Pretoria Heart Hospital on June 30, 2013, in Pretoria, South Africa. (Getty)

This photo shows Shanghai-based, 34-year-old Belgian artist Phil Akashi sitting in front of his portrait of South African peace icon and former boxer Nelson Mandela, which he forged by pounding the wall 27,000 times with a boxing glove which bore the Chinese character for 'freedom', in Shanghai. (Getty)

This photo shows Shanghai-based, 34-year-old Belgian artist Phil Akashi sitting in front of his portrait of South African peace icon and former boxer Nelson Mandela, which he forged by pounding the wall 27,000 times with a boxing glove which bore the Chinese character for ‘freedom’, in Shanghai. (Getty)

A sand sculpture in tribute to former South African president Nelson Mandela, made by sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik, at the Golden Sea Beach in Puri. (Getty)

A sand sculpture in tribute to former South African president Nelson Mandela, made by sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik, at the Golden Sea Beach in Puri. (Getty)

A colorful mural in the Harlem neighborhood of the Manhattan borough of New York. (Getty)

A colorful mural in the Harlem neighborhood of the Manhattan borough of New York. (Getty)

From "A Tribute to Nelson Mandela" Art Installation at Rockefeller Plaza. (Getty)

From “A Tribute to Nelson Mandela” Art Installation at Rockefeller Plaza. (Getty)

Street artist Xolani Mahlangu poses next to his stencil art of Nelson Mandela and other freedom icons in Soweto Township on July 16, 2013 in Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa. (Getty)

Street artist Xolani Mahlangu poses next to his stencil art of Nelson Mandela and other freedom icons in Soweto Township on July 16, 2013 in Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa. (Getty)

From "A Tribute to Nelson Mandela" Art Installation at Rockefeller Plaza. (Getty)

From “A Tribute to Nelson Mandela” Art Installation at Rockefeller Plaza. (Getty)

An orphan from Orlando Children’s Home pays tribute to Nelson Mandela outside of his house on Vilakazi Street in Soweto, Dec 9

An orphan from Orlando Children’s Home pays tribute to Nelson Mandela outside of his house on Vilakazi Street in Soweto, Dec 9

pass a mural painting of Nelson Mandela in Cape Town on November 10, 2013 AFP PHOTO / MASIXOLE FENI        (Photo credit should read MASIXOLE FENI/AFP/Getty Images)

pass a mural painting of Nelson Mandela in Cape Town on November 10, 2013 AFP PHOTO / MASIXOLE FENI (Photo credit should read MASIXOLE FENI/AFP/Getty Images)

Heart-shaped street art depicting former South African President Nelson Mandela is seen in Cape Town on July 4, 2013. (Getty)

Heart-shaped street art depicting former South African President Nelson Mandela is seen in Cape Town on July 4, 2013. (Getty)

The newly installed statue of South African leader Nelson Mandela seen in front of the South African Embassy

The newly installed statue of South African leader Nelson Mandela seen in front of the South African Embassy

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A descendant of slaves who became First Lady with a prisoner of 27 yrs who became President. There is always hope.

A descendant of slaves who became First Lady with a prisoner of 27 yrs who became President. There is always hope.

The Only Time Pres. Obama Met Mandela in Washington

The Only Time Pres. Obama Met Mandela in Washington

 

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