Today we celebrate the born day of iconic leader and one-time South African President Nelson Mandela who turned 93 years old today. The former President celebrated his big day with family and friends as the country also acknowledged the anti-apartheid leaders birthday with a number of tributes.
Fans across the states paid tribute to the leader with a series of messages online as well their own personal Twitter accounts.
A few years back 50 Cent and his G-Unit faction including Tony Yayo personally met Mandela while out touring Africa. The meeting between the men left an impression that continues to stand strong with 50 and Yayo til this day.
"I've been enlightened in a lot of different ways," 50 continued, referring to his tours of the Apartheid Museum and the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum with Mandla Mandela. "To have someone directly involved give me information was exciting. You know, I learn faster hands-on than I do from reading books. It's exciting to be in a position where people [of the Mandelas' stature] will actually take the time out to explain these things to me."
Yayo chimed in saluting Southa Africa's first black leader for standing tall considering he was incarcerated for over 27 years.
"I've been incarcerated before, and that prison cell made Rikers Island look like Great Adventure," Yayo said later. "What they were sleeping on — no toilet, no bed, no nothing. We got it easy where we came from. This is real hard out here."
"How could you spend 27 years in prison and come out and not want to kill everybody?" Yayo continued.
"To endure so much and still be as peaceful as he is when you actually see him," 50 said. "I guess you got options, and they can either drive you to become an animal, or you can become what he's actually become. I mean, there's a huge significance to Nelson Mandela and his struggle."
The G-Unit soldiers weren't the only stars of rap who wished Mr. Mandela well on his day of birth.
New Orleans rap veteran Mystikal tweeted today, "Happy birthday Nelson Mandela!!! An inspiration of freedom without racism!!!" Entertainer and comic Nick Cannon tweeted a link to his blog that featured an entry dedicated to Mandela.
Slaughterhouse MC Crooked I also joined in on the festivities by tweeting, "Nelson Mandela turned 93 today... Happy BawseDay to a born leader..." and Wu-tang Clan swordsman Ghostface Killah added, "Yo Yow...Happy Born Day to Mr. Nelson Mandela" – joining a bevy of stars such as Russell Simmons, actress Kerry Washington and others paying loving tribute to the South African leader by posting various quotes from the man himself.
Happy Birthday Mandela.