What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – Nelson Mandela
WHAT IS MANDELA DAY?
Mandela Day calls on us all, every day, to make the world a better place. Each year on 18 July we look back on what has been done, and forward to what will be done. Making every day a Mandela Day celebrates Madiba’s life and legacy in a sustainable way that will bring about enduring change.
This year as we celebrate 100 years since Nelson Mandela’s birth, we ask you to join us in our 100 Days Count Down to Mandela Day #100to100.
TAKE ACTION. INSPIRE CHANGE. MAKE EVERY DAY A MANDELA DAY.
Nelson Mandela and Limpho Hani, widow of Chris Hani, at the unveiling of Hani’s tombstone at the Southpark Cemetery, Elspark, in 1994. Photo: Lana O’Neill (nee Addis).
DID YOU KNOW?
• Streets all over the world are named after Mandela. That’s a given. But did you know a prehistoric woodpecker was named after him? Scientists named the find Australopicus nelsonmandelai. In 1973, the physics institute at Leeds University also named a nuclear particle the ‘Mandela particle.’
• Mandela had a cameo role in Spike Lee’s 1992 biopic Malcolm X. He played a teacher reciting Malcolm X’s famous speech to a room full of Soweto school kids. He refused to say the words ‘by any means necessary’ so Lee cut back to footage of Malcolm X to close out the film.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, fondly referred to as Madiba, became a legend in his lifetime. In a worldwide survey done some years ago in which photos of famous people in the world had to be named, Nelson’s photo was, by far, the most recognised, more so than photos of any other world leader or icon.
He was considered to be one of the world’s greatest leaders despite having been incarcerated for 27 years on Robben Island on charges of treason before being freed. His prison number, 46664, is known throughout the world and serves as a symbol and a reminder of a great man who unified South Africa. But who exactly was he?
Mandela evaded the police during his fight against apartheid by disguising himself, even as a chauffeur. The media referred to him as ‘the Black Pimpernel’ because of his police evasion tactics.
“I became a creature of the night. I would keep to my hideout during the day, and would emerge to do my work when it became dark,”
he says in his biography, Long Walk to Freedom.
# JOIN OTHERS AROUND YOUR CITY
VIEW THEIR STORIES
After his death, Gordon Brown said in Parliament in the UK: He admired and respected Her Majesty, the Queen. And he told me that he wanted the Queen to invite an African rain princess from his tribe to a reception at Buckingham Palace – and he’d gotten nowhere with the diplomatic channels.
So he decided to telephone her personally, and the story goes of the conversation – words that only Mandela could use:
Hello Elizabeth, how’s the Duke?”
And while the official minutes say that the Queen was non-committal, he got his way.
In prison, Mandela would read William Ernest Henley’s Invictus to fellow prisoners.
The poem, about never giving up, resonated with Mandela for its lines
‘I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul’.
Become part of Madiba Day
Mandela Day is celebrated on 18 July and is a worldwide initiative to make the world a better place. It is hoped that this initiative will encourage people to make every day a Mandela Day.
Mandela Day is about changing the world for the better through positive change in your own life and in your community. Take action against poverty.
Mandela said, “It is in your hands to make of our world a better one for all.”
Become part of the global movement for good. Become involved this Mandela Day. Be the change you want to see.
Nelson Mandela fathered six children with three wives and had 17 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren at the time of his death. Mandela had four children—two sons and two daughters—with his first wife, Evelyn Ntoko Mase, who he married in October 1944.
The couple’s first child was Madiba ‘Thembi’ Thembekile, born in 1945. Then, in 1948 Makaziwe Mandela was born. Maki, as she was called, died at nine months of age. In 1950, Makgatho Mandela,a son, and in 1954, their second daughter was born. She was named Makaziwe Mandela in honour of their first baby girl.
Three of Mandela’s six children are still living. Makaziwe is the only surviving child from his first marriage. (Madiba Thembekile died in 1969, and Makgatho died in 2005.) After his divorce from Evelyn, Mandela married Winnie Madikizela and they had two daughters: Zenani, or Zeni, in 1959 and Zindziswa (Zindizi),
born in 1960.