Top local celebs share their vision for Mandela Day

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South Africa’s top influencers tell us what Mandela Day means to them, and how they plan to make a difference in the lives of others.
Mandela Day on 18 July provides each of us with a valuable opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. We chatted to some of SA's most well-known influencers about what Mandela Day means to them and why giving 67 minutes of our time to a good cause is something we should all be doing. Here’s what they had to say.

Katlego Maboe

Mandela Day gives us all a chance to reflect on our better selves – our more unified selves, where our collective success and progress is more important than individual strides. It's a chance to ask, ‘What am I doing to make this world a better place? How am I contributing to my community's growth and progress? Am I the help or hindrance to this progress?’… and then to act in a manner that moves us forward. Participating in the day shows our appreciation for the legacy of Tata Mandela, and all the other fallen heroes of our struggle who sacrificed so much so that we could see better days.

Tshepi Vundla

To me, Mandela Day means we are able to remember what Mandela has done for us as South Africans, to remember his sacrifices and his love for his people. It’s also a day where we take time out of our lives to do our bit to assist those in need, in remembrance of Tata Mandela.

Sihle Mfeketo

No matter how small your action may be, Mandela Day is about changing the world for the better, just as Nelson Mandela did every day. This would mean paying it forward and being considerate of the less fortunate. Even the small things we do go a long way to helping the next person. Pay it forward and put a smile on someone’s face that can leave an imprint on their hearts that lasts a lifetime!

For my 67 minutes of service on the day, I’ll be helping out (through reading and writing, moderating and coaching life skills) at the girl’s society in my community that helps to empower and motivate disadvantaged girls who have been neglected.

Anja van der Spuy

Life is so busy and it’s easy to get stuck in our day-to-day routines. I think Mandela Day is amazing because it forces us to stop for 67 minutes and look beyond our own lives. It’s not only a great time to give back to others but also to take stock of our own blessings. It shouldn’t be limited to Mandela Day only though; we should aim to do something kind each day of our lives. Even the smallest gestures can go a long way.

Shiraz Reddy

Firstly, I'm blessed and honoured to share a birthday with the late, great Tata Madiba! A legend whose life's work represents more than just the stepping stones to our freedom; it's the primary reason we're able to overcome and strive for greatness in this lifetime. Secondly, I'm a firm believer in giving back and carrying on his legacy of 'community' and allowing those we engage with to learn and grow from our experiences. It's important to participate in Mandela Day to ensure we keep up the spirit of ubuntu. No man is an island, so why live like that? I know that many may think of 67 minutes as 'charity work', but in actual fact Mandela Day is about finding opportunities in which you can invest your time, for others. Whether that be sharing your knowledge, listening to social issues of the youth or simply giving a hug or two to those in need. I believe every day should be Mandela Day!

Mihlali Ndamase

Mandela day should be every day. People show extreme selflessness on Tatu Mandela’s birthday every year; it encourages people to fight against poverty and to bring about change, something for which Tatu Mandela was recognised. It’s important for everyone to understand the significance of uniting to make a difference in our country. My foundation, too, will be taking the initiative to make a change on Mandela Day.

Clem Pedro

There’s a quote that I love: 'Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less'. I love this and it represents everything Mandela Day stands for. These are words we should live by every day – caring and thinking more of others. No one ever became poor by giving to others and we all need to realise that the gift of giving is real, and as humans we need to show this humility – each and every day.

Megan Gallie

Mandela Day is a very important day for our youth. It is on this day, especially, that we should show our appreciation for what Nelson Mandela did for our freedom, and to honour his legacy.

I strongly believe that in life we have to give in order to receive, so Mandela Day means a lot to me because I am a giver and it’s a beautiful thing to see a whole nation come together and give something, even if it’s just 67 minutes. It makes one believe – and have faith – that there is still such a thing as humanity.

Simpiwe Ngomela

Mandela Day to me is a day of giving back, being thankful for what we have, and remembering how we can service others to make their life a little bit better. It’s a day of being the solution to the problems of the world by giving as much as we can with time, money or just a helping hand. It means something to someone.

I’ll be helping out at homes in Cape Town for my Mandela Day by reading, bringing food, or simply comforting others with a few pearls of wisdom.

Feeling inspired? Give some thought to what you’ll be doing this Mandela Day. You might feel that your contribution is too small to count, but the spirit of Mandela Day is that every act of kindness creates a ripple effect that changes the world for the better. All you have to do is play your part.

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