9 July 2012

Making a difference for Madiba

South Africans are eagerly counting the days to Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday.

Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela.

We want to mobilise South Africans and the world to sing and pledge their 67 minutes - Yusuf Abramjee, Lead South Africa.

Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday is on 18 July 2012. This special occasion marks Mandela Day, offering a chance for people around the world to pay tribute to this great statesman and humanitarian in a meaningful way.

On Mandela Day, many South Africans are committed to dedicating 67 minutes of their time to make a difference in the lives of others. The number 67 is significant as it represents the more than 67 years Nelson Mandela, affectionately known as Madiba, spent in service representing his country and fellow man.

Mandela Day was formally adopted by the United Nations in 2009 and the concept has been embraced worldwide. This year numerous events and activities are taking place across South Africa as well as in New York, London and other cities across the globe.

The 94+ Schools Infrastructure Project, which aims to mobilise resources to assist with the huge infrastructure backlog in many of the poor schools in the country, is one of the most notable initiatives.

Bikers for Mandela Day will be riding from Pretoria to Mpumalanga to assist the Belfast children's home and create awareness of this special day, and here and there ordinary citizens will be lending a helping hand.

Another fun initiative that South Africans have embraced wholeheartedly is the special birthday song for Mandela, which has gone viral in a big way. All Madiba fans around the world are encouraged to sing a song to celebrate Mandela's birthday at 8am, South African time, on 18 July.

Lead South Africa's Yusuf Abramjee, one of the initiators of the birthday song, says: 'We want to mobilise South Africans and the world to sing and pledge their 67 minutes'.