The 18 July is not only the day when the hero of the struggle Nelson Mandela was born, but it is also declared as “Nelson Mandela International Day” by the United Nations in November 2009 in acknowledgement of the his contribution to the culture of peace and freedom in the country.
Nelson Mandela spent his 67 years in prison sacrificed his life to the service of humanity in the fields of promoting non-violence and peace, race relations, human rights, reconciliation, gender equality and the rights of children and other vulnerable groups, as well as the upliftment of poor and under disadvantaged communities in the country.
A day to recall the nation to join hands and devote their 67 minutes of their time in helping others towards making a positive contribution to individuals for people everywhere to take responsibility for changing the world into a better place.
To find out how various people from the staff at Endumeni Local Municipality personally contributed to Nelson Mandela Day and continued his legacy of reconciliation. This is what Lale, Haroon, Nombuso and Sbongiseni had to say.
Endumeni Municipality: What were your plans to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela day?
- Lale: I wanted to make a difference in someone’s life even if it is just one person, I believe in my church philosophy that promotes one member one soul.
- Haroon: I had planned together with some men in our local church to bless our congregation with a nice hot meal and some dissert after the service. We spent more than 67 minutes in preparations of these meals but the gratitude that was shown for our goodwill gesture was heart-warming to say the least.
- Nombuso: I went to Freedom Park in eSibongile Township to entertain children by giving them food parcels and put a smile in their face with a variety of festivities because Nelson Mandela loved children. With that said, educating and putting a smile in their faces would really make Nelson Mandela happy if he was still alive.
- Sibongiseni: I went to the nearby old age home and spend my 67 minutes giving back to old people by helping them with cleaning their house and fed them.
Endumeni Municipality: What does Nelson Mandela day means to you?
- Lale: Comprehending the values of humanity, fairness, reconciliation and equality.
- Haroon: It’s the day where we take time out of our busy lives to show compassion to those less fortunate then we are. It a day that we pay tribute to a man who sacrifice 27 years of his life so that we could live free from the oppression of the past. It’s a day that we give back to others and make sacrifices for others in remembrance of gif that he has given us.
- Nombuso: It is the significant of Ubuntu, Nelson Mandela fought for our lives and spent 27 years to ensure that we a better tomorrow.
- Sibongiseni: To me, Nelson Mandela Day is a celebration of our freedom as South African because he was amongst the people who fought and strived for a democratic country. I as an individual am enjoying the fruit he attained during their struggle.
Endumeni Municipality: What inspires you about Nelson Mandela day?
- Lale: That one man had a dream of a United Nation, offered himself as a living sacrifice to honour this dream. Today I get do something to lay a helping hand and keep the dream alive.
- Haroon: The goodwill and humanity that is displayed on Mandela Day is truly inspirational. It is the one time in the year that we are all human and that a simple gesture could change a life.
- Nombuso: It is landing a hand to others like he did when he was still alive, not only on Nelson Mandela Day but to give back in each and every day.
- Sibongiseni: The day is all about giving back to the indigent and vulnerable people. With that said, 67 minutes might appear as just an hour but to some people, it can be all they need to get inspired to do good to other people as human beings sometimes we need to feed our souls.
Endumeni Municipality: What can you do to ensure that Nelson Mandela’s legacy of reconciliation exits for another generation?
- Lale: The best I can do is to continue to do my part and make a difference the best way I know how, and encourage my children and my heirs on the same norms.
- Haroon: We are truly blessed to be able to say that we are a part of the Nelson Mandela era. It is now our duty to ensure that his legacy lives on. We need to educate the youth of today, to embody all the principles that Tata has bestowed upon us because they are our future leaders.
- Nombuso: What I can do to ensure that his legacy of reconciliation further exist for another generation is educate young people about Nelson Mandela’s philosophies and what he has done in the country.
- Sibongiseni: The legacy of reconciliation “Nelson Mandela Day” must be thoroughly emphasised to the younger people not just by its fun but with its true meaning which might be to better the second mind.