Nelson Mandela International Day was launched in recognition of Nelson Mandela’s birthday on 18 July, 2009 via unanimous decision of the UN General Assembly. It was inspired by a call Nelson Mandela made a year earlier, for the next generation to take on the burden of leadership in addressing the world’s social injustices when he said that “it is in your hands now”.
It is more than a celebration of Madiba’s life and legacy. It is a global movement to honour his life’s work and act to change the world for the better. That is what the description on the Mandeladay.co.za website states but really "What is Mandela Day?"
I would guess that it means something different to every individual but what it is, is a dedication to a spectacular man who gave part of his life to ensure that every other South African has a better one. The aim of the day is a call for every person living in SA to give just 67minutes of their time to help out fellow South African's in any way they possibly can every year on the 18th of July which marks the birthdate of Mr Nelson Mandela himself.
The streets of Joburg saw a Freedom Ride cycle event the started in Braamfontein and ended 35Km's away in Soweto. With almost 6000 cyclists taking part in this amazing event, different social media's boomed with excitement from participants and spectators alike that witnessed the 2nd annual event that although was held on the day after Madiba's actual birthday but also celebrates the International Mandela day.
Local Celebrities also did their bit and one of the most recognised act of kindness was from Mr I RUN JOZI himself, local hiphop artist AKA by helping Impilo Child adoption and protection services to raise R50 000 as his contribution to the day's celebrations.
With many more ways in which we saw the day being celebrated in mind we still have our recently deceased hero in mind on not only the day commemorating his legacy and his own contribution making South Africa a better place for us all.
And in his words: "What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived, it is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead."
So let's remember these words as we go forward and try make everyday Mandela day.
By : Gugulethu Leeto / @Gusquared