Michelle Obama meets with Mandela
June 21st, 2011
08:57 AM ET

Michelle Obama meets with Mandela

Michelle Obama held a meet-and-greet with former South Africa President Nelson Mandela Tuesday, part of the first lady’s week-long swing through sub-Saharan Africa.

The meeting took place in Mandela’s home in Johannesburg, South Africa and included Mrs. Obama’s two daughters, Malia, 12, and Sasha 10. Mandela, who met then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2006, is recovering from a serious lung infection in January.

Mandela rarely makes public appearances. His last appearance was at the closing ceremonies of the World Cup in South Africa over the summer.

He recently released a new memoir, "Conversations With Myself."

Under South Africa's apartheid regime, Mandela spent 27 years in jail after being convicted of sabotage and attempts to overthrow the government. He was released in 1990 and returned to the leadership of the African National Congress party. South Africa repealed apartheid in 1991.

Mrs. Obama’s official state visit to Africa will also include a stop in Gaborone, Botswana, and is aimed at promoting education, health and wellness in addition to leadership. The first lady has engaged in similar efforts during past trips to Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, India, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

Topics: Michelle Obama • The News

soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. FRED28

    How much is this trip costing us, and are we paying for momma obama friends also.

    June 21, 2011 at 9:06 am |
  2. John

    Mandela is a great man. Can anyone think of a living American who would be in the class of him?

    June 21, 2011 at 9:14 am |
    • PeterD


      June 21, 2011 at 10:05 am |
      • jean2009


        June 21, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  3. jean2009

    Barack Obama.

    June 21, 2011 at 9:18 am |
    • John

      I assume this is a joke right?

      June 21, 2011 at 9:36 am |
      • jean2009

        Well John, that is a HOOT....I can't even visualize you voting for Mandela.

        Mandela was the son of a tribal chief, he went to college became a lawyer, joined the African National Congress which was against apartheid, and organized a powerful Youth League...aka -he was a community organizer for civil right. Then he spent 27 years, of a life sentence, in prison. He was released in 1990 at age 71. In 1993,he shared the Nobel Peace Prize with F. W.de Klerk. In 1994, during the first election where black South Africans had the right to vote he was elected President.

        I can just hear your spin about these facts during any election.

        June 21, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  4. Brian

    Guys, being a white south african, i have to say that Mandela is second to none. He truly is a great man and an inspiration to many. very very humble guy. Years ago, I was on two seperate flghts with him (he was obviously in the upper class), but was very approachable and happy even with all is body guards around him. You kind of feel a sense of pride and strength when you around him -it is weird, but you feel like nothig can go wrong – you really feel invincable. Great man – -huge respect.

    June 21, 2011 at 10:11 am |
  5. John

    I can't think of one. McCain, whom I would never vote for, and Jimmy Carter come to mind for what they have given, but not near the class of Mandella.

    June 21, 2011 at 10:19 am |
  6. JeriD

    CNN you did it again! Please look at the Washington Post and all the other major outlets and see the amazing photos that they have of Michelle Obama in South Africa. What does CNN choose? The photo taken from a mile away at night with the First Lady's tongue hanging out! How lame is that! Not to mention how skin and bone your article is! For once look at what your competition is putting out!!! Stop feeding us the bottom of the barrel!

    June 21, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • Jay in NC

      This is the way she looks, she often has an mad look on her face. If you want retouched photos of The First Date try photo shop.

      June 21, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
  7. Howard

    Michelle's tongue was hanging out, because she was eyeballing a platter of lobster, while thinking up ways for the rest of us to survive on apple slices.

    June 21, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
  8. John

    I am definitely not one to defend BO or his wife, but really guys?

    June 21, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
  9. Billy Clements

    " I am so glad to see President Mandela feeling well enough to meet with Mrs Obama. He doesn't look like what he's been through, enjoyed that one on one photograph "

    June 21, 2011 at 3:14 pm |