Celebrities from the world of TV, music and film will be paying tribute to former South African leader Nelson Mandela in Soweto today (Dec. 10) including Bono, Annie Lennox and Oprah Winfrey, alongside world leaders and dignitaries.
The 95 year-old, who was a symbol of hope and peace around the world, passed away last week following months of illness. A memorial service will be held today in Soweto at the FNB stadium where 80,000 are expected to pay tribute to the "father" of South Africa.
A smaller funeral will be held on Sunday in Qunu, Eastern Cape province where the leader was from, with some of the guests from Tuesday expected to attend.
As well as world leaders, including US President Barack Obama and his predecessors George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, those in the entertainment world who forged links with the leader are also expected to attend.
According to The Guardian supermodel Naomi Campbell, Virgin boss Richard Branson, Windows CEO Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and musicians Annie Lennox, Peter Gabriel and Bono will be attending.
Nelson Mandela died age 95 - WENN
Addressing the South African nation and the world, President Zuma confirmed the sad death last Thursday night, he said in a statement: "The nation has lost its greatest son", adding that "he is now resting. He is now at peace."
"What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves,"
"Fellow South Africans, Nelson Mandela brought us together and it is together that we will bid him farewell."
The anti-apartheid leader spent 27 years in prison before going on to become South Africa's first black president as he led the country's transition from white minority rule. He was imprisoned in 1964, charged with sabotage and was not released until 1990. He received the Nobel Peace Prize three years later.
Celebrities pay tribute to Nelson Mandela following sad news of his death
Oprah Winfrey led the tributes to the late world leader on Twitter, she said: "One of the great honors of my life was to be invited to Nelson Mandela's home, spend private time and get to know him. He was everything you've ever heard and more – humble and unscathed by bitterness. And he always loved to tell a good joke. Being in his presence was like sitting with grace and majesty at the same time. He will always be my hero. His life was a gift to us all." (Instagram/OprahWinfrey)