Celebrate South Africa’s ‘Mandela Day’ Like a Local

July 18, 2018
Leandra Slabbert
I don't think God intended for any of us to just be ordinary

Nelson Mandela ‘Tata Madiba’

Every year on the 18th of July, Nelson Mandela’s birthday; South Africans come together to celebrate the selfless works of the greatest leader we have known, whom we call ‘Tata Madiba’. A leader who gave up his life for his country, and fought for a free and fair South Africa for all.

Nelson Mandela fought against the racial segregation and discrimination that was imposed by the apartheid government at the time – which ruled from 1948-1994. He was a voice not only for the people of colour in South Africa, but a voice for all those who were fighting for a free and fair country. He was imprisoned for 27 years due to his stance against the apartheid government, and for voicing his opinions and taking action against the desire for white supremacy in South Africa.

After his release in 1990, Nelson Mandela became president of the African National Congress (ANC). In 1994, the first government elections following his release and the first democratic election; the ANC were elected as the leading party, making Nelson Mandela President of South Africa.

What is Mandela Day?

Mandela day is not just a day of celebration, but a day we stand together and acknowledge Mandela’s monumental legacy, and his commitment to making South Africa – and the world, a better place. We as a country use this day, the 18th of July, to emulate his qualities; as we strive to make a difference, however big or small. For 67 minutes we pay homage to Madiba by giving back – this could be through offering our time or resources, empowering or uplifting those less fortunate, or volunteering and supporting a worthy cause. We set aside at least 67 minutes, as this is the number of years Nelson Mandela fought for social justice.

This year, 2018, is an extra special year as it would have been Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday. He sadly passed away in 2013 at the age of 95, however, his legacy lives on and his virtuous deeds are celebrated every year on the 18th of July.

How You Can Get Involved:

If you’re visiting/in South Africa on Mandela Day, we encourage you to get involved in the spirit of giving back – it has become a day filled with energy, positivity and love and it certainly is a day of celebration.

There are many ways in which you can get involved; here are some campaigns open to volunteers:

  • Get a team together and build homes for the less fortunate with Habitat for Humanity in Cape Town, Johannesburg or Durban
  • Volunteer to paint the premises of Rekopane Inclusive Development Centre in Johannesburg; a boarding centre for children under 10 years with multiple disabilities. Contact Tumi on +27 (0)11 022 3572 to volunteer
  • Volunteer at FoodForward SA and Pick ‘n Pay’s national food drive, as they aim to raise 1,000,000 meals which will be distributed across the country to less fortunate communities. Visit Pick ‘n Pay stores in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein
  • Donate blood through the South African National Blood Service, who’ll be doing a drive throughout South Africa on Mandela Day
  • Help clean up the environment with The Librarian Association of South Africa, in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban
  • Volunteer to help with the clean-up of Hout Bay’s Imizamo Yethu community which has been affected by devastating fires and riots in recent years, contact Thozama on +27 (0)82 747-3142 to help
  • Use Forgood to find out about worthy causes you can get involved in, which suit your interests, skills and schedule, in your area

What you can do in your own capacity, to give back on Mandela Day:

  • Donate old clothes or books to orphanages or shelters
  • Spend time with sickly, senior citizens at an old age home or hospital
  • Visit a children’s home/ orphanage and play games/read books to them
  • Donate money to a worthy cause or charity
  • Eat at Moyo, from their ‘Madiba Menu’. Moyo restaurants will be donating 20% of the proceeds form their ‘Madiba Menu’ to selected charities

Keen on visiting the beautiful, diverse and all-encompassing South Africa? Book your South African tour with African Overland Tours!

 

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