Mandela's 'secret' village fears it will be forgotten
MQHEKEZWENI, South Africa (AFP) - As the world's eyes turn to the village of Qunu where Nelson Mandela will be buried on Sunday, another small rural community where the global icon spent many formative years is feeling decidedly left-out.
"You are welcome in Mqhekezweni, Mandela's 'secret' village," laughed Mr Nugget Sithupo, 75, as he stood next to a rutted dirt track, waiting for a bag of maize to be ground to flour at a portable, roadside mill.
"Now that uThatha (Mandela) is gone, we'll probably be forgotten," he added with a sigh as he leaned on his walking stick.
Shortly after the death of his father, a nine-year-old Mandela and his mother left Qunu - his boyhood home - and travelled to Mqhekezweni, about 40km inland through the rolling treeless hills that dot the Eastern Cape landscape.