By Nomali Cele
Nearly nine years ago, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the United Nations launched the “Mandela Day” campaign which sought to inspire the world to use the anti-apartheid struggle hero and Nobel Peace Prize Laurette. The pitch was that Mr Mandela had spent – or given – 67 years of his life to fight for justice, the least we could do is spend 67 minutes annually giving back. The global drive of using one day to give back and do charity work would happen on Madiba’s birthday, 18 July. This year, 18 July will mark a hundred years since Nelson Mandela was born and, to mark the important occasion, the Nelson Mandela Foundation is hoping to make this Nelson Mandela Day even more impactful. For those planning to use Mandela Day 2018 as a way to pay tribute to the late statesman, his foundation will be the best guide.
Be the legacy
The work of changing the world can’t be left up to a few people, which is why initiatives such as Mandela Day are necessary. #BeTheLegacy is the call for us to take up Nelson Mandela’s call and accept that changing the direction the world is going and creating a better future for all is, indeed, in our hands.
Choosing to #BeTheLegacy now doesn’t mean, as most would assume, that we are making it so future generations don’t have to be. We have to integrate it into the fabric of who we are as a society – yes, we don’t want future generations to have similar struggles but the mission to create an equal society should not end with this generation.
With the 100-day countdown to Mandela day 2018 underway, how are committing to use your power in your spheres of influence to make our country and the world better?
Action against poverty
Other than Madiba’s centenary, another theme for Mandela Day this year is #ActionAgainstPoverty. In 2017, Statistics South Africa reported that poverty trends were on the rise in South Africa with 53,2% of the population having been recorded as living in 2011 and the number rising to 55, 5% in 2015.
These numbers are jarring and something we should not just be ashamed of as a country but something we should be tirelessly working to change. Of the 55, 5% living in poverty, a further 13, 8 million South African live in extreme poverty, which was indicated to be living on R441 per person per month.
Building a better world
One of the biggest highlights of the intersection between Mandela Day and the man’s centenary is a collaboration between Habitats for Humanity South Africa and the Nelson Mandela Foundation. These organisations aim to build 100 homes for 100 families across the Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu. You can register on the Habitat for Humanity South Africa website here to join building teams for this initiative.
What can we do in our communities and communities surrounding us to alleviate poverty? This is a question that needs answers not only on 18 July but each day of the year.
Tweet us with #KayaOnline to share how you will be spending your 67 minutes this Mandela Day.