michelle_and_mandelaFirst lady Michelle Obama and her family visited former President Nelson Mandela during her visit to South Africa. The United States First family shared a private visit at the home of the South African icon and revered statesman.

It was the first meeting between America's first black first lady and the political prisoner which was very moving for both of them. Mrs. Obama, daughters Malia, and Sasha, and her mother, Marian Robinson stopped at the Mandela Foundation when, according to White House officials, Mandela sent word that he wanted to meet them. The Obamas spent about 20 minutes at the home of Mandela and his wife, Graca Machel, who is a former first lady of Mozambique.

Mandela graced the Obamas wearing one of his trademark shirts, richly patterned and buttoned at the neck. The Nelson Mandela Foundation distributed a photo of a healthy-looking Mandela sitting on a couch next to Mrs. Obama. The photo showed him holding a pen ready to sign an advance copy of his new book, "Nelson Mandela by Himself: The Authorized Quotations Book."

Mrs. Obama, who came to Africa to promote worthy causes, began her first full day in South Africa calling Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma, one of the wives of President Jacob Zuma, and later met Mandela's wife at his foundation offices.

After visiting the Mandela’s home, Mrs. Obama visited a daycare center in a shantytown in Johannesburg where people live in tin homes largely without electricity or sanitation. The first family was welcomed with songs by a group of young children. Mrs. Obama and her daughters then read to the group and donated more than 200 books to the center. They closed the day with a private tour of the Apartheid Museum that opened in 2001 telling the story of the rise and fall of apartheid.

Ms. Obama continued her visit in South Africa, speaking at a church where she urged South African youth to work to end AIDS and sexual violence. Addressing a packed Regina Mondi Church in Soweto, she singled out 76 young African women in the audience who will be attending the first-ever Young African Women Leaders Forum, sponsored by the White House, State Department and other U.S. entities. Ms. Obama asked the estimated 2,000 listeners what they would leave future generations after people years ago endured beatings, jail and death for their freedom.

"That is the legacy of the independence generation, the freedom generation. And all of you -- the young people of this continent -- you are the heirs of that blood, sweat, sacrifice, and love." You can be the generation that makes the discoveries and builds the industries that will transform our economies. You can be the generation that brings opportunity and prosperity to forgotten corners of the world and banishes hunger from this continent forever," said Ms. Obama.

 In closing Ms. Obama used her husband's 2008 campaign slogan. “If anyone of you ever doubts that you can build that future, if anyone ever tells you that you shouldn't or you can't, then I want you to say with one voice -- the voice of a generation -- you tell them, Yes, we can.'"



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