Nelson Mandela Day. A day when we’re all asked to give up some of our time to help better the lives of other people. It’s all about the former president’s birthday, and a day when the world’s media gather in the tiny village of Qunu not so much in expectation of seeing the global icon, but of seeing who has gone to see him.
They will gather from the vantage point of the Nelson Mandela Museum, that overlooks the Mandela homestead, eyes trained on the comings and goings at the house. As news spreads – as it did yesterday with the unexpected arrival in Qunu of former US president, Bill Clinton and his daughter, Chelsea, the press pack will move in hope of finding an exclusive angle on Mandela’s birthday.
In the meantime, the organisation charged with preserving his legacy, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, has been pressed to plead with organisations and individuals to respect the meaning of Nelson Mandela Day and not abuse it for their own ends.
In a statement, Achmet Dangor asked all the Foundation’s partners, “in the true spirit of Mandela Day to adhere to the Ethical Framework, which is available on our website, www.mandeladay.com.”
Dangor asked that sponsorship must be sourced in a way that builds upon community resources and not divert funding away from communities; that organisations must therefore not use Mandela Day as a vehicle for their organisational fundraising. The spirit of Mandela Day is that we do more with what we’ve got.
“It is one thing to acknowledge the support of a donor for community initiatives; it is another thing to directly associate Mandela Day with a commercial brand. All of our corporate partners have accepted this principle and do not expect their brand to be advertised alongside the Mandela Day logo, especially on social media networks,” Dangor wrote.
That warning aside, media organisations have embraced the concept of Nelson Mandela Day not just using their channels to publicise the good works going on out there, but also to do their bit.
Independent newspapers, as a reader service, have compiled a list of 67 ways to help on Mandela Day and asked readers to tweet their efforts and post on Facebook. Their tips range from donating blood – especially if you’re type O – to buying goods for women’s shelters to picking up 67 pieces of litter.
Prezence Digital have created an awesome audio visual, called The Mandela Story, which has been posted on YouTube. They have created a timeline of Mandela’s life using today’s current social media platforms. CEO Prakash Patel says the aim is to celebrate Mandela’s life to around a simple premise: “Would the father of our nation have spent 27 years in captivity if he (and others) had access to the same technology, social media platforms and tools as we do today”?. The answer is simple Maybe not? We can’t change the past but we can change the future. It is now in our hands.
“The four minutes long video tribute, has been a pure labour of love, beautifully put together, showing creativity from South Africa, Mother City Cape Town, with no financial gain to Prezence Digital or any individuals, but to raise awareness to encourage people to carry the torch of positive change from Mandela’s example in turn, and do their bit (67 mins today and everyday).
“We hope you find the video inspirational and educational, hopefully deeply moving, thought provoking and resonates with everyone, but also fun in a language we all understand today.”
94.7 Highveld Stereo says it has “heeded Lead SA’s call to dedicate 67 minutes plus of their time in support of Tata Madiba’s tireless efforts in community upliftment projects”.
The station is involved in Lead SA’s Mandela Day Schools Project, 94.7 and has partnered with local corporates, volunteers and charitable listeners, and identified key schools with a high needs base. Presenters from the station will be spending their 67 minutes plus on the day at these dedicated schools in the efforts of alleviating some of those needs and improving dire conditions.
Samantha Cowen, presenter of the Breakfast Xpress, will visit the Mokgome Secondary situated in Soweto, will be spending her 67 minutes plus at the said school where she will be delivering much needed appliances such as a freezer, a fridge as we well as as cooking utensils that were gdonated by 94.7 Highveld Stereo’s faithful listeners. Dulux South Africa has also committed to providing paint for the kitchen.
The Breakfast Xpress’s Darren Simpson will be visiting Lodirile High School in Krugersdorp. Boasting a high academic and sport record, the school needed cricket nets as well as cricket equipment so that their budding cricket team could practice in the safety of the schools grounds. The Bizhub Highveld Lions have confirmed their support of this initiative and will be spending their 67 minutes at Lodirile High hosting a coaching clinic and session.
Afternoon drive show host Anele Mdoda, will be spending her time at Ibhongo Secondary School. At Ibhongo, a staggering 1200 students are assigned to a mere 34 educators. A complete library upgrade will be taking place on Madiba Day. Anele has also rallied the support of Audi South Africa to donate books and library resources for the learners.
Presenter Pabi Moloi has identified Hulwazi Secondary School in Daveyton as her adopted school for the activation. Pabi will be dedicating her 67 minutes toward assisting with planting trees and creating a garden area.
Bongani Nxumalo, co-host of the Breakfast Xpress will be heading out to Alexandra Secondary School on Mandela Day. Sorely lacking in funds, their plea has been to provide a much needed photocopier for the staffroom and essential shelving and cupboards for classrooms.
The Newspaper Advertising Bureau (NAB) has donated R30 000 to the New Life centre. “We’ve elected to support the New Life Centre in lieu of corporate gifts again this year which our clients, suppliers and partners whole heartedly support,” says John Bowles, joint MD at NAB. “We’re pleased to be able to make a contribution and know it will make a huge difference in the lives of these women.”
The New Life Centre was created by two exceptional women, Khopotso Nakin and Babalwe Makawula. With no money, no support and at great risk to themselves, these two angels regularly visit the ‘prostitute hotspots’ late at night and rescue young children from the clutches of drug lords who lock them in sleazy hotel rooms and sell them for a pittance.
The SABC and SA Post Office staff will join other volunteers to paint a 3000sqm wall at the Sebokeng hospital in the Vaal. This project commenced on the 9 July and is expected to be completed on Mandela Day. In KwaZulu Natal, staff will be visiting the Mpunga High school outside Umzinto, where the core focus will be on sustaining the environment through recycling, cleaning of the yard and planting of indigenous trees as well as contributing to the economy by discussing the importance of saving.
In the WitsPos region in Gauteng area, staff will be visiting the Mofolo Home Base Care, MaThwala Children’s Home and Olivers House in Zenzele settlement. They will donate blankets, food parcels, old clothes and appliances. The core focus will be on healthy lifestyles for the children helping them start food gardens. Indigenous trees will also be planted and old newspapers will be collected for recycling.
Talk Radio 702 has taken up the call by Nelson Mandela to celebrate his legacy by offering 67 minutes of community service on his birthday, 18 July and beyond. This year, each presenter has adopted a school in need and visited the school to establish specific requirements and areas where individuals, groups or companies can assist. It forms part of the Lead SA Mandela Day schools project which Primedia Broadcasting and the Independent Group of Newspapers are spearheading.
“The idea is not only to do 67 minutes of service, once a year and then forget about it,” said Talk Radio 702 station manager, Pheladi Gwangwa. “We decided to adopt the schools to establish a relationship between them and our on-air personalities which will lead to an ongoing commitment to these schools. We intend to monitor their progress, assist when necessary and offer them the support they need to ensure the children at these facilities get the education they deserve.”
The Redi Tlhabi show will be broadcast from Batsogile Primary School in Pimville, Soweto. The school was identified by Lead SA partner, The Star newspaper, as a school in dire need of refurbishment and Redi was keen to involve her listeners to improve the facilities at the school.
The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield has partnered with The Pretoria News to tackle a challenging project that includes two schools, a few hundred metres apart: Jopie Fourie Laerskool and Inkululeko Day Care. Jungle Gyms, toys, stationery, office equipment, paint and painters as well as building materials have all been donated to improve the learning environment at these two schools. Pretoria based lawfirm, Mothle, Jooma, Sabdia has come on board with a major cash donation of R35 000 for each of the schools to complete additional projects. There will also be plenty of cake and candles to celebrate with the children on the day.
Jacaranda FM has joined Bikers for Mandela Day 2012, a project that has become synonymous with Mandela Day. Jacaranda FM presenter, Dianne Broodryk, and Zelda la Grange, Madiba’s right hand lady, will be supporting a host of other biker communities through South Africa that have now taken up the task to mobilise their own communities around Mandela day.
Biker activities will include events in Clocolaan, Zastron, Queenstown, Qunu (the village that produced Nelson Mandela), Mount Frere and Winterton between 15 and 19 July. They will get their hands dirty with various community upliftment and -empowerment projects joining Biker organisations across the country in doing their bit for Mandela day.
Celebrities supporting some of these initiatives include Elvis Blue and Dozi among others.
LOGIC will be helping making a difference on Nelson Mandela Day this year. The guest experience agency has been appointed to assist Cheesekids with its Nelson Mandela Day Revolution, part of the broad-based volunteer movement’s celebrations for Madiba’s 94th birthday.
The idea behind the Revolution is for people to gather at rallying points in Joburg, Durban and Cape Town, where Cheesekids will ferry them to and from various cause sites. Volunteers can sign up to give 67 minutes or more of their time and effort, participating in anything from building and painting, to cooking, packing food and running sports clinics.
LOGIC’s internal staffing department, TRIBE, will source and manage the team leaders and students needed to keep registration, barcode scanning and other essential functions ticking over.
Illustration: Mandela Story by Prezence Digital