QUNU, South Africa, Dec. 15 -- South African President Jacob Zuma said Africa commits to carrying forward Mandela's legacy at the official funeral ceremony of the country's former president Nelson Mandela held in Qunu on Sunday.
"While the long walk has ended in the physical sense, our own journey continues," said Zuma in his speech at the funeral ceremony.
Politician leaders from Africa also paid tribute to Mandela, South Africa's first black president and the anti-apartheid icon.
Malawi's President and SADC Chairperson Joyce Banda said she was inspired by Mandela, who was focused, calm and had a spirit of forgiveness.
She said Tata believed all people are created equal. He saw no boundaries and championed freedom of all of Africans, Banda added.
African Union Chair and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said Mandela's life has been a record of all the trials the African countries had to endure under colonialism.
Humanity is better because of the likes of Madiba, he said, mentioning Mandela's Xhosa name, which is regarded as that of Africa's greatest sons and a father of freedom.
Tanzania's President Jakaya Kikwete said the people of Tanzania have lost a great friend, a great comrade in arms.
Mandela's funeral is underway at his ancestral village of Qunu in Eastern Cape on Sunday.
Over 4,500 people, including Mandela's family, African heads of state, politicians and celebrities, attended the funeral ceremony, which is accompanied by full military ceremonial honors.
It is also the end of the 10-day official morning since Dec, 5, when the 95-year-old anti-apartheid icon passed away at his home in Houghton.
The funeral is taking place in a white dome, where chants are singing and bands are playing to hail the country's former president's life and contribution.
Mandela's funeral will also be held in a traditional Xhosa customs, which is from his tribe Thembu community.
Mandela's burial will be held before noon in his family gravesite at a more private ceremony, according to the official news. The burial is reported to have only 450 guests.