Hero | Nelson Mandela


This month it was my turn to write a person-centred article. We have, over the months, featured wonderful and inspiring people who live in our community.


As it is the month of July I thought who better to inspire and motivate us than Mandela.


2018 Marks the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela / Madiba. This provides a unique opportunity for people to reflect on his life and what he stood for and to honour his legacy. The Mandela Day campaign was introduced in 2009 as a way for the world to interpret his legacy in the contexts of working to meet the needs of local communities.


There are many values that define Madiba’s character. We also know that many people relate to different values of Madiba for different reasons. Some of these include but are not limited to, love, peace, forgiveness and humility.


Below are some main highlights of his life: (thanks to Google and the internet)

April 20, 1964 — Charged with sabotage, Mandela delivered a statement during his trial in Pretoria that revealed the depth of his resolve in the fight against apartheid.

“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people,” Mandela said. “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

June 12, 1964 — Mandela and six others are sentenced to life imprisonment and sent to the notorious Robben Island to serve their sentences.

Feb. 11, 1990 — Mandela walked out of South Africa’s Victor Verster prison near Cape Town after 27 years in captivity.

Oct. 15, 1993 — Mandela and De Klerk share Nobel Peace Prize.

May 10, 1994 — Nelson Mandela became the first black president of South Africa, taking his office at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. At the close of his inauguration speech, Mandela said: “Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world,” he said. “Let freedom reign. The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement! God bless Africa! Thank you.”

 June 16, 1999 — Mandela retires after one term, a rarity among African presidents, but continues to be active in causes promoting world peace, supporting children and fighting AIDS.


So let’s all start thinking of how we can spend our 67 (the number of years he fought for social justice) minutes on the 18 July that will best make a change in our communities.

Some ideas I came up with were:

  • Join another family and pick up litter along the railway line.
  • Go through your closet and find your old summer clothes you can donate to a needy charity – Hospice, SPCA, a church charity or the Kloof Rest Home.
  • Make a large pot of soup (put it into a 5L ice cream tub) and donate it to a church that runs a soup kitchen. Or get some friends and hand out hot soup in a polystyrene cup to people walking to work in the early morning – They do this in Westville every day from 6 am to 7:30.
  • Donate time at the Dennis Hurley Centre in Durban – phone first but they love volunteers.
  • Bake a batch of cupcakes and drop them at your local old age home or the Hillcrest AIDS Center.
  • Make a nice lunch and drop it with a beggar at the robots.
  • Phone a lonely person and pop in for coffee – we all know someone.

PS: if you miss this article and only read it after the 18 July, I still challenge you to do 67 minutes of something to uplift your community. No good done is ever a waste and every drop in the ocean counts. So, GO FOR IT….. DO SOMETHING!