Durbanites lock on to honour Madiba’s legacy

2013-08-27 00:00

AMID the hustle and bustle of Florida Road in Morningside, people are stopped in their tracks for a moment or two.

Sometimes it’s a momentary pause, others spend time, but all recognise the legacy project that honours former president Nelson Mandela. The attempt to keep Madiba’s legacy alive is gaining momentum. People stop to add their padlock to the numerous locks already on the fence, part of the “Locked into Mandela” project.

The initiative, the brainchild of local businessman Patrick Coetzee, is aimed at uniting communities behind this legacy.

Yesterday, Thandolwethu Tsekiso, a B.Com. student in supply chain and marketing at UKZN, was taken to the “legacy lock” fence by a friend Dudu Chiya, a public relations student at Varsity College, who wanted to surprise her.

“She blindfolded me and guided me to this fence. I didn’t know that it existed and I think it’s cool to show appreciation of Madiba’s contribution to people’s lives while he is still alive. We all have opportunities now because of his sacrifices,” said Tsekiso after the blindfold was removed.

When he started the initiative with a handful of people early last month, Coetzee told The Witness that Mandela transcended any group, gender, race or age, or any specific subculture.

Yesterday, Coetzee said they were encouraged to see that the fence was filled with scores of padlocks. “This is a radical illustration of the community’s desire to celebrate the qualities and characteristics of Nelson Mandela’s life, and to commit to living these values. In seven short weeks, we have had toddlers from pre-schools to international travellers all locking on to the initiative.”

He said he was finalising a proposal to have the park renamed “Legacy Park”, a place that he hoped would be associated with all the facets of South Africa’s rich history.

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