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[LIVE BLOG] Barack Obama delivers Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture

Former US president Barack Obama will speak at the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture at the Wanderers Cricket Stadium.

[WATCH LIVE] Barack Obama delivers 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture: 

And with that, the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture comes to an end. 

US Jazz musician Kirk Whalum is up next to serenade the crowd with his sax.

Musician Thandiswa Mazwai gets the crowd heated up with a performance.

Obama has now finished his speech, he got a standing ovation.

Believe in the facts... Obama says people just make stuff up!

Could this mean something or be directed at someone? We don't know...

Obama touches on fake news and denial of facts. He says as a leader you can't make things up...

EWN: in touch, in tune and indepen -
Okay Obama says democracy is about being in tune...

Democracy is not just about votes, Obama says 

Obama says Mandela did not stop being proud of his heritage, but he believed that you could be proud of your heritage by degrading others' heritage. 

Not our handwriting:

Obama giving people on the streets hope...

Money money money... Moneyyy! Obama has urged rich people to give back... "There's only so much you can eat," he adds.

Obama says he believes in Madiba's vision... do you believe?

Obama says "Women and girls around the world continue to be blocked from positions of power & authority."

Let's get some of those views from the Twitter streets...

Obama says uTata came to embody the universal aspirations of people all around the world.

Obama looking back at Madiba's childhood in Mveso, struggles with pronouncing it, but gets it right.

Barack Obama says he is a very good dancer!

Barack Obama is on stage and the crowd starts shouting "Yes we can!"

Ramaphosa says Obama is like Madiba in many ways but... he can't dance like Madiba!

Heal and change the world, Ramaphosa says.

Obama will start his lecture after Ramaphosa...

"Phakama Ramaphosa! Ixesha lisondele!" The crowd sings rise Ramaphosa, the time has arrived! 

President Cyril Ramaphosa gets cheerful claps and shouts! A standing ovation!

"Yes we can!" Graca Machel closes her speech. She gets a cheers from the crowd.

Graca Machel says Mandela and Obama are symbols of victory over adversity. 

Graca Machel says Obama is a symbol of transformative leadership.

Graca Machel says Tata Madiba was cognisant of his flaws.


Machel urges the nation not to celebrate Madiba alone.

Ms Graca Machel is now on the stage... 

Credit: Christa Eybers/EWN.

"You represent the very best of America and the very best of the world," Motsepe says to Obama. Obama nods.

Dr Patrice Motsepe takes to the stage...

“Man, I was corrupt,” Prof Ndebele saying corrupt leaders must reflect.

Prof Njabulo Ndebele not mincing his words in calling out the corrupt in South Africa. Says leaders must admit to being corrupt not pretend otherwise.

Prof Ndebele reminisces about the moment Nelson Mandela emerged from prison 28 years ago hand in hand with Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

"This is the biggest Nelson Mandela lecture we have ever hosted," Professor Ndebele says.

Professor Njabulo Ndebele is on the stage now. He's here to give his welcome remarks. 

Miss Busi Mkhumbuzi is on stage to invite Professor Njabulo Ndebele to give the welcoming remarks.

Barack Obama has arrived and the crowd goes wild! We will now sing the national anthem:
"Nkosi SikeleliAfrika.."

The Nelson Mandela CEO Sello Hatang has opened proceedings by bringing various guests onto the stage. So far Graca Machel and Cyril Ramaphosa are on stage.

And here we go...

If you are outside the venue, you now have 9 minutes until the programme starts. 9 minutes!

"Ladies and gentlemen please settle into your seats, the event will start in 15 minutes," the announcement is made. Lookout for our livestream coming soon. You can watch this live on Facebook and right here on this blog.

Fill up Wanderers Stadium! Not yet, remember people are still outside the venue, queuing to get in!

Former president Kgalema Motlante and his wife have arrived.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, Barack Obama and Njabulo Ndebele behind the scenes. Credit: Nelson Mandela Foundation. 

An announcement has been made that the event will start in 30 minutes. So we will start at 2pm.

"Yes yes yes yes! Msaw -" no, sorry. That's Energy Minister Minister Jeff Radebe. Told you everyone is here. Stay tuned!

Rain or sunshine the masses are here to celebrate the legacy of uTata Madiba:

The programme hasn't started yet as dignitaries are still making their way in. As for the masses... The queues are mad outside!

The Elders is a group of independent global leaders that work together for peace and human rights and was founded by the late former statesman.

At least 10 former heads of state and human rights, and peace activists who are part of The Elders forum are expected to be present.

FYI: Some roads around Corlett Drive have already been closed off to traffic.

Okay back to the programme: 

The atmosphere is vibey, well go monate! There is lovely music playing [at the moment 12:38 Salif Keita's 'Africa'] is playing. There is a buzz and excitement. 

Some of Mandela’s children and grandchildren are also due to attend.

We don't only have the former US president gracing the event, we have leaders from SA as well. President Cyril Ramaphosa, former President Kgalema Motlanthe and Nelson Mandela’s Widow, Graça Machel, will all be present.

This is Obama’s first trip to South Africa since his departure from the White House.

Because uTata was and still is the gift that keeps on giving, former US president Barack Obama will deliver the keynote address!

The event is held under the theme: “Renewing the Mandela Legacy and Promoting Active Citizenship in a Changing World”.

This event is organised by the Nelson Mandela Foundation to honour Madiba, who would’ve turned 100-years-old on Wednesday, 18 July.


What is happening? Who is here? Why are we here? Whoa whoa, hang on, we are getting to that! 

Good afternoon and welcome to EWN's live blog, coming to you live from the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture at Wanderers Cricket Stadium.