Centenary of Nelson Mandela’s Birth – Mandela Day, July 18th, 2018
There is little we feel we don’t know about the beloved Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, affectionately known as Madiba, who was born on July 18th, 1918 – one hundred years ago. A member of the Thembu royal family in the Eastern Cape; a qualified and talented lawyer; anti-apartheid campaigner, activist and revolutionary; inmate of the brutal Robben Island jail for an unconscionable 27 years; South Africa’s first black president; father not only to his own five children but, in so many ways, to the nation and to millions around the world. His extraordinarily altruistic, conciliatory approach to moving beyond the shocking legacy of apartheid and the merciless treatment he endured - namely, to forgive, to reconcile and to forge new bonds – had never been seen before, and, frankly, in today’s xenophobic, fear driven and self-serving world, will probably never be witnessed again.
So many people revered this extraordinary man, people from all walks of life, creeds, races and religions. He embodied genuine goodness, devoting his life to trying to improve the lot of others, And, as Desmond Tutu stated,
‘It was not a publicity stunt, or to look good. What he did was out of a true place of care and compassion.’
It is entirely befitting, then, that every year, and on this centenary year in particular, he should be remembered by acts of unselfishness. He genuinely lived by his own words, namely that,
‘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’.
Mandela Day, declared as such in 2009 by the United Nations, is a reminder, and a chance, to do just that – to try, in some small way, to make a difference to the life of another person. Whether that be through fundraising efforts, giving of your time and support, raising awareness of someone else’s plight or simply devoting your time to improving someone else’s day, you can make a difference.
To that end, E&V Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl has decided to focus on Nelson Mandela’s passion for education, and his indisputable belief that it is only through a solid education in a safe and conducive space that today’s children will become adults who can thrive in the world and create their own successes. As he said, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
As our contribution to Mandela's legacy, we are pleased to announce our partnership with Lotus River High School.