Today, July 18 marks the UN’s Mandela Day, a day set aside to honour the late former South African President and designed to encourage ordinary folk to follow his example in their own little way.
On Mandela Day, people around the globe are encouraged to do 67 minutes of community service in honour of the 67 years that South Africa’s first post-democracy President, Tata Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela, dedicated to the public service, fighting for social justice.
The day promotes the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world through his or her action in the service of others. This year’s Mandela day is celebrated under the theme ‘Make Everyday a Nelson Mandela Day’.
To commemorate this year’s International Mandela Day, South African President Jacob Zuma has urged all South Africans and the world to make time and find something meaningful to do‚ in memory of Madiba.
He urged all and sundry to follow in Tata’s footsteps by caring for the sick‚ orphans, vulnerable children‚ the aged‚ cleaning the environment/surroundings‚ and cleaning schools as part of the activities that will contribute to promoting national unity and cohesion in the country.
Monday 18 July 2016 would have been Nelson Mandela’s 98th birthday. Mandela possessed extraordinary leadership qualities that made him a global icon. He spent 67 years fighting for freedom and making a difference.
Mandela was first and foremost a politician – a strong and courageous one. When the situation required aggression, he stepped up, and when the country and the world needed peace, he championed it.
Upholding Madiba’s legacy should not only be about the annual jamboree to perform humanitarian deeds for 67 minutes. It should also be about developing leadership in society that espouses his values and principles.
So the question is; What will you be doing with your 67 minutes today that will make a difference? Don’t be left out.