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Memorial to be held in Mvezo

Mandela’s grandson, Mandla, will hold a memorial service in Mvezo, where Madiba was born.

An open-air exhibit of Nelson Mandela at Mvezo Great Place. Picture: Rahima Essop/EWN

QUNU - Members of the Mandela family are expected to start making their way to the rural village of Qunu ahead of his funeral on Sunday 15 December.

South Africa's first black president, Nelson Mandela, passed away on Thursday last week at his home in Houghton. He was 95-years-old.

Mandela's grandson Mandla is planning to host a memorial service in the Madiba's birth place of Mvezo, before Sunday's funeral.

While Madiba built his life in Qunu, he was born in Mvezo.

A relative, Mayibuye Mandela, said locals in Mvezo have been holding prayer meetings for the father of the nation since his passing.

"We're showing that we're grateful and happy for what he did for the whole country and the global community."

LIVE STREAMING

On Tuesday Mvezo residents were able to watch the memorial service for Madiba at the FNB Stadium in Soweto, Johannesbirg via a live stream.

While the kept many in their cars instead of outside, residents watched from their vehicles as though as a drive-in movie.

There was a sense of togetherness as families and neighbours gathered to watch Mandela's memorial service.

Qunu resident Zola Pasiya and her family watched the memorial at home on their TV.

She remembers Mandela as a humble man who interacted with the villagers.

"He was just a man who was down to earth. When he walked around the location, you wouldn't believe this is the man the whole world knows."

In Mvezo a handful of locals gathered in the gentle rain to watch the service on a big screen.

Mayibuye said, "He used to encourage us to go to school. What he preached in global communities, he preached at home in our houses."

Meanwhile, preparations are continuing for the state funeral on Sunday.

Contractors are busy erecting an arena on Madiba's property and there's an increased presence of soldiers, military vehicles and police around the area.