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'I love you so much,' Charlize tells Mandela


March 10, 2004
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South African actress Charlize Theron could not contain her emotion when she met up with her country’s former president Nelson Mandela on Thursday. “I love you so much,” the beautiful blonde told the 85-year-old statesman. “I love you too,” Nelson replied, embracing her.

Charlize became the first South African to receive a best actress Oscar last month in recognition of her portrayal of a prostitute-turned-serial killer in the film Monster.

While Mr Mandela was keen to praise “the girl from Benoni” for “putting South Africa on the map” – “even those who did not know it, now know where South Africa is,” he said – the 28-year-old actress made it clear who she felt was the star. “You are an inspiration to everyone,” she declared to the Nobel Peace prize winner. The two held hands during the photocall at his Johannesburg offices.

Appearing on a chat show earlier in the week the actress, who is in her homeland to promote the movie, told the host she is “proudly South African”. And she added that she intends to become more involved in one of the country’s most pressing problems – HIV/AIDS.

“I want to start my own charity,” she said. “I think we as a nation have to tackle this issue. People are dying, children are being orphaned.”

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Photo: © Alphapress.com
Oscar winner Charlize, who is in South Africa to promote her new movie, also told the 85-year-old political veteran that he an "inspiration to everyone"Photo: © AFP
Photo: © Alphapress.com
The 28-year-old blonde beauty was clearly deeply moved by her meeting with the Nobel Peace prize winnerPhoto: © AFP