On His 95th Birthday, Mandela’s Health Is ‘Steadily Improving’

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CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - APRIL 03: Nelson Mandela smiles during a lunch to Benefit the Mandela Children's Foundation as part of the celebrations of the opening of the new One&Only Cape Town resort on April 3, 2009 in Cape Town, South Africa. The One&Only is Sol Kerzner's first hotel in his home country since 1992. The 130 room property is One&Only's first Urban resort and sits in the fashionable Waterfront district. Celebrities from all over the world including Mariah Carey, Clint Eastwood, Matt Damon, Morgan Freeman, Thandie Newton and Marisa Tomei will attend the event. Gordon Ramsay will be launching his first restaurant in Africa at the resort, Maze and Robert De Niro will be opening Nobu. Nelson Mandela will be attending an intimate luncheon at Maze on Friday to celebrate his long-standing relationship with Mr. Kerzner. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images) Photo: Chris Jackson/2009 Getty Images

While the prognosis seemed grim a few weeks ago, Nelson Mandela is celebrating his 95th birthday on Thursday, and South African President Jacob Zuma reports, “his doctors have confirmed that his health is steadily improving.” Mandela is still hospitalized with a lung infection, but family members say he's awake, smiling, and communicating with his eyes and hand. “You can see he is there in his eyes, the same energy and strength,” said his daughter Zindzi Mandela-Motlhajwa.