Yadhana Jadoo
Political Editor
1 minute read
17 Jul 2015
2:00 pm

How Nelson Mandela Day started

Yadhana Jadoo

Nelson Mandela Day was formulated on the idea that just one person has the power to change the world.

A file photo taken on July 24, 2007 shows former South African President Nelson Mandela joking with youngsters as they celebrate his 89th birthday at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund in Johannesburg. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER JOE

It was inspired by the late struggle hero, who at his 90th birthday celebrations in London’s Hyde Park in 2008 – through his words: “Where human beings are being oppressed, there is more work to be done. Our work is for freedom for all. After nearly 90 years of life, it is time for new hands to lift the burden. It is in your hands now.”

For the 67 years Mandela spent focused on liberating his people, the world was asked to join hands in offering 67 minutes of service to the greater good. July 18, Madiba’s birthday, is also a celebration of his legacy and life. Mandela Day themes are focused on four pillars needed for social injustices to be eradicated.

This includes: food security, education and literacy, shelter and infrastructure, and service and volunteerism. “The message behind Mandela Day is simple – each individual has the ability and the responsibility to change the world for the better,” according to the official website.

“If each one of us heeded the call to simply do good every day, we would be living Nelson Mandela’s legacy and helping to build a country of our dreams. The baton of leadership has been handed over to us. It is in our hands now to make a positive difference.

“By devoting 67 minutes of their time one minute for every year of Mandela’s public service, people can make a small gesture of solidarity with humanity and a step towards a global movement for good. ”

How are you spending your 67 minutes for Mandela Day?