Birmingham businesswoman to attend Mandela's burial - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Birmingham businesswoman to attend Mandela's burial

Posted: Updated:
Ambassador Andrew Young and Nichelle Gainey at the National Cathedral in D.C. attending memorial service for Nelson Mandela. (Source: Gainey) Ambassador Andrew Young and Nichelle Gainey at the National Cathedral in D.C. attending memorial service for Nelson Mandela. (Source: Gainey)
  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Darton College receives new honor

    Darton College receives new honor

    Friday, August 29 2014 11:37 PM EDT2014-08-30 03:37:42 GMT
    Darton State College receives a new honor.It is ranked 6th in the country among mid-sized colleges in the Center for Digital Education's annual Digital Community Colleges Survey.More >>
    Darton State College receives a new honor.It is ranked 6th in the country among mid-sized colleges in the Center for Digital Education's annual Digital Community Colleges Survey.More >>
  • NFL domestic violence punishment a step in the right direction

    NFL domestic violence punishment a step in the right direction

    Friday, August 29 2014 11:34 PM EDT2014-08-30 03:34:28 GMT
    Silke Deeley, Liberty House Executive DirectorSilke Deeley, Liberty House Executive Director
    The director of an Albany women's shelter is glad the NFL is sending a strong message against domestic violence .Yesterday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell put tough new punishments in place for players who commit domestic violence. More >>
    The director of an Albany women's shelter is glad the NFL is sending a strong message against domestic violence .Yesterday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell put tough new punishments in place for players who commit domestic violence. More >>
  • Albany fire department recruits 15 firefighters

    Albany fire department recruits 15 firefighters

    Friday, August 29 2014 11:29 PM EDT2014-08-30 03:29:55 GMT
    Richard Lynn, Albany FirefighterRichard Lynn, Albany Firefighter
    More than a dozen men and women begin their careers as Albany firefighters. Within a couple of hours, some of those men and women will work at stations throughout the county to serve and protect our community.More >>
    More than a dozen men and women begin their careers as Albany firefighters. Within a couple of hours, some of those men and women will work at stations throughout the county to serve and protect our community.More >>
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Birmingham business woman Nichelle Gainey will attend Nelson Mandela's burial this Sunday. Gainey received the invitation from his family. She says she overwhelmed with emotion, felt honored and knew she couldn't miss it for the world.

Growing up in Alabama, she always saw Nelson Mandela as an icon. She especially admires the lesson he thought the world in forgiveness.

Gainey grew a special connection with Mandela's homeland a few years ago. She works in sports marketing and her job took her to South Africa when the country hosted the World Cup in 2010.

She was at a World Cup meeting along with FIFA executives when Mandela made a surprise visit. She will never forget what he said to her at that moment.

"'A woman in futbol, that's great. A woman in futbol that has beauty, that's good.' So he was a man that had character, charisma," recalled Gainey. "It's the first time I ever felt speechless. I felt like I wanted to live my life at being better and being someone who could make a difference."

On Tuesday night Gainey traveled to Washington D.C. On Wednesday she will attend a memorial service at the National Cathedral in D.C., along with the South African Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool. On Thursday she will travel with Rasool to South Africa. Mandela's funeral will take place in his home town of Qunu on Sunday.

Copyright 2013 WBRC. All rights reserved.