Why do we celebrate this day and its significance, his life and theme for 2021.
‘This day is also known as 67 Minutes Mandela Day, as for 67 years he fought for social justice.
The theme for 2021 Nelson Mandela International Day is “One Hand Can Feed Another.”
To further this recognition of his legacy, the month of July is also unofficially recognized as “Mandela Month” in South Africa.
About Nelson Mandela:
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was also a statesman and philanthropist. Influenced by Marxism, he secretly joined the banned South African Communist Party (SACP). Although initially committed to non-violent protest, in association with the SACP he co-founded the militant Umkhonto we Sizwe in 1961 and led a sabotage campaign against the government. He was arrested and imprisoned in 1962, and subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiring to overthrow the state following the Rivonia Trial. Mandela served 27 years in prison
Over the course of his life, Mandela was given over 250 awards, accolades, prizes, honorary degrees, and citizenship in recognition of his political achievements. Among his awards were the Nobel Peace Prize, Bharat Ratna, the Soviet Union’s Lenin Peace Prize, and many more. Within South Africa, he was widely considered “The Father of the Nation” and “The Founding Father of Democracy.” Worldwide, he was regarded as a “Global Icon” and was described as “One of the most revered figures of our time” by Rita Barnard.
In the 1950s, he was elected as the leader of the youth wing of the African National Congress (ANC) liberation movement. He first resorted to peaceful protests. But he was met with violence by the government, he went on to support an armed movement. Mandela was an important symbol for the oppressed in South Africa who were fighting for their rights. He was extremely instrumental in tearing down the oppressive government and laid the foundation of democracy.
He started the Nelson Mandela Foundation to combat HIV or AIDS, support educational and rural development. In 2009, the United Nations proclaimed July 18th to be International Nelson Mandela Day. On this day, people are asked to spend 67 minutes doing something good for others, which represents all the 67 years he spent working towards change.
We celebrate this day to remember his struggle and contribution to the world which helped to pave a path for growth from the 20th – 21st century. It is a movement for all of us to renew and imbibe the values that inspired Nelson Mandela.
"It is easy to breakdown and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build." - Nelson Mandela
Things to do:
- Learn about human rights!
- Get acquainted with what you can do to fight alongside communities you most connect with.
- Read about what inspired Nelson Mandela and the steps to took to fight injustice.
- Talk with NGOs nearby you and find out how can you help the cause they are working on.
- Talk to the friend you miss!
- Find shelters, volunteer, or contribute food, amenities to help our beloved furbabies!!
- Take a minute and appreciate everything that made you who you are.
- Look into your strengths and use them to give back to the world.
- Never underestimate the words, actions that you put out in the world! You matter!