In the hours after Nelson Mandela passed away, hundreds of people gathered outside of his home in Johannesburg. Some bowed their heads in mourning, while others sang and danced in joyous celebration for the life of the legendary anti-apartheid leader who served as South Africa’s first black president. Memorials have sprung up all over the country, and thousands are expected to make the pilgrimage to Mandela’s hometown of Qunu, where his state burial will be held after twelve days of national mourning.
South Africa based photographer Jonathan Torgovnik, on assignment for TIME, documented the celebration and bereavement outside of Mandela’s home in Johannesburg. Similar commemorations also sprung up from London to New York to Indonesia. Two months before Mandela died, Francois Pienaar, who captained South Africa to victory in the 1995 Rugby World Cup (with President Mandela wearing his jersey in the audience), reflected on the inevitable loss of the man who united the country. “I hope that his passing is a celebration and a tremendous reflection,” Pienaar said. “If it wasn’t for Nelson Mandela, we would not have been set on this path.” That celebration and reflection extends throughout the world.
- Nate Rawlings
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