How will you spend Nelson Mandela Day? Everyone is urged to devote 67 minutes of their day to furthering his principles and values.
NELSON Mandela Day is about embodying the ethos of the man and espousing his ideals through promoting reconciliation – the prime principles for which he stood.
Tokyo SexwaleTokyo Sexwale: Mandela the greatest reconcilerSpeaking in Houghton at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory on Monday, 20 June, Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale said Nelson Mandela Day was about the ethics of understanding how to help a fellow human being, the principles of justice and uplifting the underdog.
“We are all friends in the circle of Nelson Mandela. Therefore, there is a need for us to know that to take forward Mandela Day, it is the ethics of what he stood for, the ethos of his struggle, the values of reconciliation, democracy and freedom,” he said.
Sexwale, who sporadically impersonated the elder statesman at the press launch of the international initiative, said he could not speak for Mandela and how he would like people to celebrate Nelson Mandela Day. “He said it’s in your hands. That’s it. If you do all those types of things, it’s almost a religion, but it is not; it is real. That’s Mandelaism,” he said.
He regaled people with anecdotes of how he had always wanted to emulate Mandela and his memory of their first meeting, on Robben Island.
“What distinguishes this person in my view? Is he the greatest president? No, there were presidents before him. For me, the man is the greatest reconciler, that is why we have got to learn today to protect that basic achievement of this man that has put us in this non-racial system which we have in South Africa.”
Nelson Mandela Foundation Trustee Tokyo Sexwale speaks about Madiba, and the icon's values. Watch video.
Nelson Mandela Day is an international campaign devised to encourage ordinary people to devote 67 minutes of their time, on 18 July, Mandela’s birthday, to a humanitarian activity that upholds his ethos and legacy. The 67 minutes symbolise the 67 years Mandela spent fighting for non-racialism, reconciliation, conflict resolution and equal human rights.
According to the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the day is a global call for people to do something that represents the values that Mandela personified.
“For now it is in our hands to push the message on, drive that message of Nelson Mandela, the greatest reconciler of all time. That message still has to find root, still has to grow from each hand and from each person as we cover the globe. That’s the Nelson Mandela I know,” said Sexwale.
As always, a number of activities have been planned as a prelude to 18 July and everyone is urged to participate and commemorate Mandela’s legacy. On that day, Mandela will turn 93.
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