The man was a leader of a country thousands of kilometres away with a totally different culture.
Yet Singaporean Yussof Hussian felt the need to take time to sign a condolence book upon hearing of this man's death.
The man was the late Nelson Mandela.
The former South African president had the ability to relate to people and to bridge differences.
Said Mr Yussof, 29, an auxiliary police officer: "I have great respect for Mr Mandela. He truly deserves respect.
"He made a difference in the world, especially for the South African people."
Mr Yussof said he read about how Mr Mandela brought his country's whites and blacks together, despite being jailed for decades by the whites, and showed no rancour towards them.
He wrote in the condolence book: "You will be greatly missed by people around the world and may you rest in peace."
Mr Yussof was among a number of Singaporeans, including Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law K Shanmugam, who turned up on Monday and Tuesday to pay their respects and sign the condolence book.
The book is open for signing from 9am to 5pm daily till this Friday at the South African High Commission located at Odeon Towers, North Bridge Road.