Naomi Campbell’s Touching Mandela Tribute

in memoriam

The supermodel mourns the loss of a man who was her “reason for being” during the tough times in her life.

Dec 6, 2013 | 11:56 PM

Naomi Campbell has always been open about her close friendship with Nelson Mandela, her “honorary grandfather” who guided her through difficult periods of her life. Now, as the whole world mourns his passing, Naomi has come forth with a touching tribute to a man who “changed her perception of the world.”

Naomi Campbell and Nelson Mandela first met in the early ‘90s when the African National Congress (ANC) invited her to visit their leader in South Africa. Shortly thereafter, she became a strong supporter for Madiba’s humanitarian and political causes, particularly the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.

Nelson Mandela's passing has triggered an outpouring of emotion from individuals all over world. May his incredible legacy continue to inspire those who dare to make a difference. Scroll down to read the full text of Naomi’s moving tribute to her “Tata,” and see more photos of their time together.

“Nelson Mandela has stood as a figure of strength, hope, freedom, selflessness and love, and I join everyone across the world in mourning his passing. However, he was much more than just a figurehead to me - he was my mentor, my honorary grandfather, my Tata. Since meeting him in 1993, he's guided me and gave me a reason for being in the tough times of my life. He changed my perception of the world.

It will take time to come to terms with his absence, but I know his energy and impact will forever be in the core of my spirit

My heart goes out to the entire Mandela family - Mama Graca, Mama Winnie, Zindzi, Malengani, Josina and the rest of the family.

#RIPNelsonMandela” —Naomi Campbell

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