JBay gears up for Mandela Day

2015-06-25 06:00

THE spirit of goodwill will shine brightly in Jeffreys Bay on July 18 when residents take hands to celebrate Nelson Mandela Day.

Young and old are invited to join Ward 14 Councillor Timothy Meleni, whose annual Mandela Day programme has become one of the biggest in the region.

A highlight of the programme will be two soccer matches at the Tokyo Sexwale Sportsfield from 14:00.

The first match will see the Jeffreys Bay Legends test their skill against the Nigerian Legends while the Umhlobo Wenene Legends will take on the Tanzanian Legends in the second match.

Meleni said the soccer matches had been organised in response to the xenophonic conflict that broke out in parts of South Africa earlier this year.

“Here in Jeffreys Bay we were spared from that conflict and we want to keep it that way. The soccer matches are our way of saying ‘no’ to xenophobia and raising awareness in our community of all the positive things that we, as Africans, have in common,” he says.

The matches will be followed by music and entertainment at the stadium from 17:00.

Meleni says the morning would be dedicated to cleaning up the informal settlements Ten Rand and Chris Hani at Tokyo Sexwale.

Elderly residents in need of assistance have also been identified, with a view to fixing up and painting their houses. Anyone who is able to donate paint or who wishes to be involved, can contact Meleni at 073 766 6255.

A blanket drive for the elderly was also launched earlier this year. Meleni said donations towards the drive were still welcome.

Nelson Mandela Day is celebrated annually on July 18, the birthday of South Africa’s first democratically elected president whose immense capacity for goodwill earned him worldwide acclaim. The campaign invites all South Africans to dedicate just 67 minutes on the day to selfless acts of kindness.

At her recent inauguration, Kouga Executive Mayor Daphne Kettledas urged all ward councillors to organise Nelson Mandela programmes for their communities.

“We do not want there to be a single ward in Kouga where the spirit of Tata Mandela isn’t alive and working wonders on that day.”

She further encouraged all residents to treat every day as a Mandela Day so that all of Kouga’s people would be cared for and prosper

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