"I visited him on Tuesday and he was watching TV with headphones. He gave us a huge smile and raised his hand. He responds with his eyes and his hands," said Zindzi Mandela, his daughter from his second wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. She further added that he is gaining strength and might soon be released from the hospital.
Birthday cum World Mandela Day Celebrations
Supporters and followers sighed in relief as the news of Mandela's health spread.
"We were apprehensive whether we could celebrate his 95th birthday. Long live Mandela!," said one of the supporters who has been lining up in front of his house since June 8th when he was admitted.
Mandela's family had filed a court document earlier this month, which revealed that he was on ventilation and was critical.
Even as celebrities and political personalities wished him on his birthday, the World Mandela day was celebrated with great pomp and show in many parts of South Africa. A Johannesburg-based foundation, for instance, has hailed people to observe 67 minutes of charity to mark the 67 years of contribution of the iconic leader for his community.
President Jacob Zuma has also declared charity by donating houses to the poor white families in Pretoria. Labour activists too are organizing an event marking his birthday at St George's Cathedral.
Obama's birthday message
The first family sent their wishes and prayers to Nelson Mandela on his 95th birthday today, wishing him a long and healthy life. President Obama also set his example, urging people to dedicate their lives for others.
A worried Obama family had paid a visit to the Mandela family last month, extending their support to them at a time of crisis.