In a rare turn of events, former president Thabo Mbeki’s birthday will coincide with the 20th anniversary of his ascension to the presidency and he has chosen to commemorate the occasion with a fundraising gala.
18 June 2019 President Mbeki’s 77th birthday dinner coincides with 20 years since being inaugurated as the President of the republic. The fundraiser gala dinner shall see all proceeds go towards the construction of the Thabo Mbeki Presidential Library (TMPL): #TMPL pic.twitter.com/9lG7daViIN
— @UncleLupi (@lupingcayisa) June 10, 2019
According to The Star, a table for 10 will cost R75,000 while a single ticket to attend the gala dinner will set you back R7,500, all in an effort to raise funds for the Thabo Mbeki Presidential Library.
In return, attendees will get their name engraved on the TMPL once the construction and design have been completed.
The idea for the library has been years in the making and construction was set to start this year in Killarney, Johannesburg.
Similarly, a pet project of Trevor Noah’s The Daily Show will see the Donald J. Trump presidential Twitter Library open in Washington on Trump’s birthday (four days before Mbeki’s birthday).
What do you get the man who has tweeted about everything?
The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library opens in Washington, D.C. on June 14th, Trump's birthday… surprise! ????????????
June 14 – 16 | 12PM – 8PM | FREE
The Showroom at 1099 14th St. NW pic.twitter.com/BsVlK3VB8m
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) June 4, 2019
According to the SABC, the main motive behind this initiative is to preserve the history of the African continent during and after the days of colonialism.
Mbeki said young people, in particular, would benefit from the library as it would provide them with all the important information about Africa.
“You have a big store of knowledge about our past, our present and our future, so that in particular you give the possibility for young people who not necessarily part of those experiences, to study what happened and understand why particular decisions were taken – to understand why certain decisions were not taken.”
We are tasked to coordinate Pres Mbeki’s 77th birthday fundraising gala dinner on 18 June which coincides with the commemoration of 20years since being inaugurated as the Pres of RSA.All proceeds shall go to the construction of the Thabo Mbeki Presidential Libary. pic.twitter.com/3zHY1y0uVN
— @UncleLupi (@lupingcayisa) June 6, 2019
Speaking to The Star, Thabo Mbeki Foundation spokesperson Max Boqwana said that the TMPL would also serve as an important tool “for the much-talked-about quality free decolonised education” that many young South Africans were working to achieve.
“If you talk about decolonised education, you need to be talking about us as Africans being the knowledge-producers, rather than consumers of pre-packaged knowledge from other parts of the world,” added Boqwana.
Those who wish to attend can call 081 875 1308 for more information.