- Full text of a message from Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa, to Senator Barack Obama, the first black president-elect of the United States of America.
We join people in your country and around the world in congratulating you on becoming the President-elect of the United States. Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place. We note and applaud your commitment to supporting the cause of peace and security around the world. We trust that you will also make it the mission of your presidency to combat the scourge of poverty and disease everywhere. We wish you strength and fortitude in the challenging days and years that lie ahead. We are sure you will ultimately achieve your dream, making the United States of America a full partner in a community of nations committed to peace and prosperity for all.
I was living in South Africa in 1994 when the first free elections were held and Mandela was elected. It was an amazing event - one of the highlights of my life. Our election on Tuesday actually reminds me of that time.