Mandela posters mark 95th birthday

Story highlights

  • Mandela Poster Project exhibiting 95 posters of the former South African president
  • Project received more than 700 poster submissions from around the world
  • Mandela Day has been celebrated worldwide since 2009
  • The day encourages 67 minutes of good deeds from participants

In South Africa, Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday is being marked by celebrations, good deeds, and an exhibition of stunning new posters of the country's former president.

Mandela himself will be spending the day in hospital in Pretoria, where he is said to be in a critical but stable condition, battling a lung infection.

Since 2009, Mandela's birthday has been designated "Nelson Mandela International Day." The celebration encourages people around the globe to partake in 67 minutes of public service: one minute per year of service that the former statesman, also known as Madiba, has given to his country.

In photos: Global tributes to Nelson Mandela

It's a day that many feared might not come, as Mandela has been receiving urgent medical care since June. Now breathing with the help of a machine, family and friends have been optimistic about his response to treatment, with former president Thabo Mbeki even suggesting he may soon be discharged.

Admirers worldwide are hoping for the Nobel Peace laureate's recovery, with Mandela Day providing the perfect opportunity to celebrate his life and achievements. A survey released last week found that 89% of South Africans planned to commemorate the day, with thousands of school children across the country singing "happy birthday" this morning.

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Also marking the occasion, at the University of Pretoria the Mandela Poster Project is exhibiting images of Mandela from around the world.

Read this: 'Biggest celebration ever' for Mandela's birthday

Launched in May 2013, the project asked designers to submit posters celebrating Mandela's life. It received more than 700 entries from more than 70 countries, and is now displaying 95 posters that reflect Mandela's international legacy.

"He (Mandela) carries across this concept of humanity and selflessness," said Mohammed Jogie, co-founder of the project.

There are plans for an international traveling exhibition, and the posters will also be made into an online gallery. The team behind the project says it plans to donate any proceeds to the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital Trust, which aims to establish a pediatric hospital in Johannesburg.

It's a fitting tribute to the iconic activist on a day that celebrates the sense of community and charity Mandela has dedicated his life to promoting.