Michelle Obama's surprise visit to Mandela's home

Michelle Obama's surprise visit to Mandela's home

Obama, accompanied by her two daughters, a niece, a nephew and her mother, met South Africa's first democratically elected president Mandela at his home, even though her schedule did not include this visit.

The meeting was arranged after the Obama party visited the Nelson Mandela Foundation where Mandela's wife Graca Machel joined them as they visited exhibits of Mandela's 27 years as a political prisoner.

Mandela, who turns 93 next month, rarely receives guests after a worldwide scare over his health following a respiratory infection in January.

Earlier in the day, Obama met Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma, one of President Jacob Zuma's wives and took the time to personally greet almost every one of about 100 guests.
"From kings to ministers and then myself, Mrs Obama gave each individual her undivided attention," tweeted actress Precious Kofi.

After the Mandela meeting, Obama went to the Apartheid Museum to advise the waiting young girls to consider themselves as important as anyone else.
While Obama may have charmed those she met, she left the media and Johannesburg motorists somewhat frustrated.

There were no interviews or comments to the media, and many motorists were upset at the traffic jams that resulted after several main routes across the city were cordoned off during peak hours to allow Obama's convoy to pass unhindered.

A huge crowd is expected tomorrow morning at the Regina Mundi Church in Soweto, where Obama will deliver an address after visiting the adjacent memorial for Hector Pieterson.

The last day of the visit will include a visit to Robben Island, where Mandela and others were detained for decades as political prisoners, as well as a courtesy call on Nobel Laureate and former Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Obama will also go to Botswana after that.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)