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The second annual Soweto Festival of Light this year pays tribute to former South African president, Nelson Mandela. The eight-day festival is a delight for children and will feature praise singing and a memorial candle to honour Madiba's memory.

THE Soweto Festival of Light will this year be held to honour and pay tribute to Tata Nelson Mandela, the Father of our Nation.

The former South African president passed away peacefully on 5 December. His death is being mourned across the globe and the South African Presidency has declared a ten-day mourning period in the country.

Kicking off on Friday 13 December 2013, the second annual Soweto Festival of Light at Mofolo South Nursery will let visitors pay tribute to Mandela by laying flowers and lighting candles at its entrance. The nursery is on Elias Motsoaledi and Chris Hani roads in Mofolo South.

The festival will be held from Friday 13 December 2013 to Saturday 21 December 2013 between 16:00 and 21:00 on each day. It will close for Mandela's funeral on Sunday, 15 December. The event is held in partnership with Regina Mundi Church, the largest Catholic church in Soweto, which sheltered anti-apartheid activists.

During the festival, a memorial candle dedicated to the great leader's life will burn.  

Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, Councillor Mpho Parks Tau and his wife, Pilisiwe Twala-Tau, will honour Tata Madiba by officially switching on the lights in a ceremony involving thousands of residents and their children.

While singing praise songs by candlelight, the Mayor will switch on the lights to symbolise Tata Madiba's vision and hope for his people. In the spirit of "seeing the world through the eyes of the children", more than 200 orphaned children will receive special Christmas tokens.

The Soweto Festival of Light creates job opportunities for entertainers, performance artists, security personnel, cleaners, parking attendants and child-minders recruited from the greater Soweto community. The festival will also benefit several Soweto charities dedicated to caring for underprivileged children and the elderly.

Guests include the executive mayor, members of the mayoral committee, Section 79 committee members, City of Johannesburg officials, students and community representatives.