Naomi Campbell shares touching birthday tribute to Nelson Mandela

Naomi Campbell always regarded Nelson Mandela like a grandfather. On what would have been his 96th birthday on July 18, the supermodel paid tribute to the late great anti-Apartheid hero on her instagram page.

The catwalk queen posted a tender image of herself with the late president, calling him by his popular South African names – Tata meaning father in Xhosa and Madiba which is the name of his clan.

Her caption read: "#HappyBirthdayTata #MandelaDay #Madiba #mySaint #confidante #RIP #willneverbeforgotten #unconditionallove #granddad #imissyou #loveyouforeverinmylifetime".

Nelson Mandela: Life in pictures

Last December, Naomi was among the famous faces who travelled to South Africa to pay their respects to a man whose star appeal was unequalled.

Along with Charlize Theron, Bono and Barack Obama, she joined tens of thousands in the rainlashed Soweto stadium at his memorial service. The great leader died on December 5 after many years of poor health.