Mandela Day is a global call to action that celebrates the idea that
each individual has the power to transform the world, the ability to make an impact. The Mandela Day campaign message is: “Nelson Mandela has fought for social justice for 67 years. We’re asking you to start with 67 minutes.” (*Wikipedia)
Its about 6.7 years since our beloved Madiba passed away, and his legacy is enshrined in a number of initiatives and institutions, not to mention a daily reminder on our currency that he was a very special man.
Negotiating a peaceful transformation to a new Democratic dispensation, Madiba surprised many world leaders and so earned their admiration that they flocked to be seen by his side. Not much of his inner goodness rubbed off onto them, but many, like past president Barack Obama will be here speaking at the 100 years since Madiba’s birth reminding us of how unique and special our past president was.
Sadly, this legacy, recognised by most of the world, is somewhat ignored and even vilified by younger South Africans who did not endure the struggles nor witness the miracle of peace when there could have been chaos.
I believe it is incumbent on all South Africans to retell Madiba’s story to their children.
I remember in one interview, this great man remarked that he had seen his face on a tea tray cloth, and commented with words to the effect that one becomes too popular when ones face is on such a cloth.
His humility has been matched by the arrogance and ignorance of those who now live the miracle, forgetting the Giver of the Gift, and just enjoying the Gift without thought.
Take 67 seconds, 6.7 minutes or a whole 67 minutes to convince our young that great things only come from great people.
Inclusiveness, fairness, honest and integrity are the hallmarks of a great man. They are scarce. Share his memory far and wide.
Madiba Icon art work by Emzi Smit