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Make everyday a Mandela Day

Date Released: Fri, 11 July 2014 09:16 +0200

Nelson Mandela Day is about celebrating Tata Madiba’s life and it is also a call to action for people to identify their skill to have a positive effect on others around them. I believe Mandela Day is not only about giving back to the community; it is also about inspiring individuals to do better, be better.

This is the first Mandela Day since uTata passed, and I think it’s even more important now to maintain and continue with the principles he struggled for and to continue sharing his messages of humanity, peace and love.

Making a change in someone else’s life  should be an everyday thing however  July 18th has been set aside for  people around the world to spend at least 67 minutes doing something positive for their communities in honor of the 67 years that the late Tata Madiba spent fighting for a free country.

Many people and organisations around the world take part in many activities to promote Nelson Mandela Day. These activities include volunteering, sport, art, education, music and culture. Many events are also hosted on or around July 18th to honor Tata’s works.

Making a difference in other young people’s lives is what I live for, coming from a neighbourhood where most young people have no supporters and role models to push them in the right direction for opportunities, I have made it one of my goals to take it upon myself to use the opportunities I have been given to help touch a life/s. Touching one young girl’s life can make a difference to many other young girls.

Mandela Day for me means that I am closer to fulfilling my goal of making a difference in young people’s lives.

In 2012, a few friends and I managed to help 15 girls from Nathaniel Nyaluza, a high school in Fingo Village which is in Grahamstown.

It all started on Trading Live which is a Rhodes University initiative, it’s how we celebrate Mandela Day because during the 18th we are still on vacation so the University started the initiative for the students and employees to get involved.

During Trading Live, a group of friends and I decided to “adopt” a few girls, donate toiletries to them and have a life skills workshop with them on the day.

A few months later, the project was adopted by the whole residence and now the girls receive toiletries every term and receive extra classes for all their subjects.

This year, the aim is to start yet another project that can be sustained and help other young people once I leave Grahamstown. Mandela Day should not only be celebrated on the 18th of July but it should be an everyday thing.

There are so many things that one can do to make a difference in someone else’s life and it doesn’t have to be of monetary value.

This year I won’t be able to celebrate it on the 18th as I will be travelling back to Grahamstown but I will do something during Trading Live to commemorate Tata Mandela’s well-lived life and pass on his values to the younger generation.

Making a difference in the community, I believe, is an important part of growing as a human being.

It’s part of the circle of life.

It’s all about getting and giving back to someone who is less fortunate.

Article by Sithandwa Ngwetsheni