How will you remember Nelson Mandela?
There are many ways to commemorate the life and struggle of a remarkable man.
We’ve come up with ten – but we’d like to hear what your plans are.
Friday July 18 is Nelson Mandela International Day, launched by the UN and inspired by a call from the man himself for the next generation to take on the burden of leadership when he said “it is in your hands now”.
1. Do something!The Nelson Mandela Foundation says the idea behind the day is simple: “Each individual has the ability and responsibility to impact positive change every day. It is the activation of our great Founder’s ethos and demonstrates that one man’s vision has indeed inspired a global movement for good. The call to action is: Take action, inspire change and make every day Mandela Day.”
Mandela gave 67 years of his life fighting for social justice. The campaign asks that individuals, groups and companies pledge 67 minutes of their time on 18 July, and every day after, to give back. There will be events around the world, from walks to concerts to acts of service.
2. Grow somethingIn South Africa, millions will remember Mandela: through individual acts of service, but also initiatives like one to encourage people to plant and maintain their own vegetable gardens. Citizenship initiative Lead SA is partnering with the African Children’s Feeding Scheme, Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo and the Dis-Chem Foundation.
3. Check out these amazing monumentsThere are many monuments, in his native South Africa and around the world. Weburbanist has collected many of the best, including the stunning Nelson Mandela Sculpture in Howick KwaZulu-Natal by Marco Cianfanelli. It marks the 50th anniversary of Mandela’s capture by police in 1962.
4. Speak upIf you’re looking for a more digital way of marking the day, the UN and the Mandela Foundation are calling on people to upload a 30 second clip of themselves reading or singing Mandela quotes and stories that most inspire them. A selection will be showcased in an official video and promoted across YouTube.
5. Listen up
Music will play a big part in the day. In Glasgow, Scotland, South African jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela will headline a concert as part of a day of events. “We are thrilled to honour him in Glasgow by bringing together musicians from Scotland and South Africa, from the great legend Hugh Masekela to the voices of the youth and the future, Mzansi Youth Choir. We deeply hope he would have loved this,” said Svend Brown, director of music at Glasgow Life.
6. Meet upMany places of worship around the world will hold services, or otherwise mark the day. The Riverside Church in New York will hold an event called “Footsteps of Mandela”, a musical tribute.
7. Hit the roadThe Bikers for Mandela Day ride in South Africa will support organizations that assist survivors of gender based violence and rape.
8. Clean up
The South African Embassy in Washington DC has identified a couple of ways that people in the District can get involved, including working with Martha’s Table,an NGO where you can tidy up education classrooms, prepare the food for mobile soup kitchen, or organize community thrift store. (The embassy has a great statue of Mandela, by the way).
9. Go to a movie.The film Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, will be released in China on July 18, the first time it has been on wide release there. It will be on more than 1,000 screens. Released last year in South Africa, it is the highest financial earner in the history of South African movies. The film will also be screened free of charge in South Africa.
10. Take a walk down Mandela StreetThis is pretty easy if you live in Britain. There are more than 25 roads named after the great man dotted around the UK – nearly a third of the world’s known total. As the BBC points out, “One road with a close link was Mandela Street, in Camden, North London, where the international anti-apartheid movement had its headquarters in the 1980s.”
These ought to give you some ideas about ways you can get involved – and help others do so as well.
What are your great ideas for Mandela Day? What will you do – and how will you spread the word?