Inspiring the young to care

2012-07-18 00:00

MILLIONS of people across the world, including primary school children, are celebrating Mandela Day.

The high spirited children celebrated Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday by showing off their creative side to spread their love for a freedom fighter, whom most said was their role model.

Greenhill Primary School pupils tried their best to draw the best Mandela portraits. In some pictures, Mandela even wore pink lipstick.

A class full of lively and high spirited children held up their hands high as the teacher quizzed them about Mandela’s journey and life.

What is Mandela Day, the teacher asked?

“It’s about giving to the poor,” said one Grade 3 pupil.

“It’s about sharing,” another added.

They shouted the correct answers aloud, and the teacher is pleased.

If Mandela was one of the subjects in the curriculum, they would all be passing with straight As.

With bright faces and broad smiles, the kids talked eagerly about the leader they adore.

“I wish you well on your birthday. You’re a great leader and you made our country a better place to live. You wanted us to have a good education and read well. I wish God can give you strength and good health,” wrote Unathi Awetha (9).

The Bisley Park Primary School pupils pieced together a Madiba shirt which they painted to celebrate the spirit of Mandela.

Jadenè Shnetter (9) from the school said: “What inspires me is how Nelson Mandela brought all the races together. He has taught me that you should not be rude to other people that are not of your race.”

Another Grade 3 pupil, Senamile Ndano, told The Witness she loves Mandela because “when white people wanted to leave he told them, ‘it’s fine, you can stay’. Now the whites and blacks are friends.”

Pupils have pledged to clean their school, prepare sandwiches for the poor and help their mothers to clean the house.

“As a present to you we will clean our school grounds,” a message read.

A shy Grade 2 pupil, Mabutho Sithole (8) said: “Mandela is a good man and was a prisoner. That’s all I say,” he said as he giggled.

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