What to do on Madiba day?

2012-07-18 08:20
Video

Honouring Nelson Mandela

2012-07-17 09:26

South African music legends have united to produce two songs honouring Madiba on his 94th birthday. The proceeds from the sale of the songs will be donated to building the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital. WATCH

"Mandela doesn't fart! His bum just suggests things!" Trevor Noah.

Our father is 94-years-old. That's old even for trees!

Reaching that age is a considerably rare occasion no matter where you go. But Mandela reaching this age means a lot more than others, if you consider the hurdles he faced.

To be frank, Mandela in all honesty should be dead. He was the leader of a progressive movement against one of the world's most repressive structures, aimed at condemning the legal system of discrimination. Yet despite all these things, the man was able to defeat the powers that be, to set foot on the top of the world, proving that there is no such thing as impossible.

Random fact: Nelson (Nelly) Rolihlahla Mandela was only taken off the US terrorist list at the age of 90, in 2008.

While his accomplishments in retrospect may sound like the life of the party, they pale in comparison to the character with which they were achieved. Humility is something that is hard to maintain, especially in a seat of power. Even Barrack Obama struggles not to be smug at times, examples Osama's Death and The roast of Donald Trump at the White House.

Our father has maintained that he is nothing more than a man.

The awe inspired change he was able to lead the country into is something that is spoken about the world over. His ability to come out of 27 years of imprisonment, still invigorated by the same ideology he was willing to die for is a rare quality in any human. His spirit was not broken by hard labour in inhumane conditions during the pursuit of a greater goal: To emancipate a nation of spirits already broken.

And still through all those extraordinary deeds, the man was able to maintain a humility only rivaled by those who chose to stay out of the limelight. Something Desmond Tutu once noted at the funeral of Walter Sisulu. Mandela too has on a few occasions tried to make it clear that he did not single-handedly turn the country into a truly democratic state.

Again I will emphasise his humility and acceptance of the civil liberties in the democratic country he was at the forefront of shaping. A prime example was/is his ability to accept that as a public figure one can be an easy target for humour. This sense of democratic maturity is something that the country as a whole, seems to be missing.

Mandela accepts the fact that he is just a man. As a man one is prone to make mistakes. As a leader, he was also prepared to make unpopular decisions. Criticism and humour based on individual perceptions are what contribute to a functioning democracy.

Our father has taught us this skill through practice, why would we want to forget the lessons we were taught at home?

I say Happy Mandela day to you all! And leave you with music by DJ Euphonic and an entertaining video by Mdu's Comics! Now let us do the Madiba jive for 67 minutes!





Otherwise check out these ideas posted on the Nelson Mandela Foundation website:

1. Make a new friend. Get to know someone from a different cultural background. Only through mutual understanding can we rid our communities of intolerance and xenophobia.
2. Read to someone who can't. Visit a local home for the blind and open up a new world for someone else.
3. Fix the potholes in your street or neighbourhood.
4. Help out at the local animal shelter. Dogs without homes still need a walk and a bit of love.
5. Find out from your local library if it has a story hour and offer to read during it.
6. Offer to take an elderly neighbour who can't drive to do their shopping/chores.
7. Organise a litter cleanup day in your area.
8. Get a group of people to each knit a square and make a blanket for someone in need.
9. Volunteer at your police station or local faith-based organisation.
10. Donate your skills!
11. If you're a builder, help build or improve someone's home.
12. Help someone to get his/her business off the ground.
13. Build a website for someone who needs one, or for a cause you think needs the support.
14. Help someone get a job. Put together and print a CV for them, or help them with their interview skills.
15. If you're a lawyer, do some pro bono work for a worthwhile cause or person.
16. Write to your area councillor about a problem in the area that requires attention, which you, in your personal capacity, are unable to attend to.
17. Sponsor a group of learners to go to the theatre/zoo.

Help out for good health

18. Get in touch with your local HIV organisations and find out how you can help.
19. Help out at your local hospice, as staff members often need as much support as the patients.
20. Many terminally ill people have no one to speak to. Take a little time to have a chat and bring some sunshine into their lives.
21. Talk to your friends and family about HIV.
22. Get tested for HIV and encourage your partner to do so too.
23. Take a bag full of toys to a local hospital that has a children's ward.
24. Take younger members of your family for a walk in the park.
25. Donate some medical supplies to a local community clinic.
26. Take someone you know, who can't afford it, to get their eyes tested or their teeth checked.
27. Bake something for a support group of your choice.
28. Start a community garden to encourage healthy eating in your community.
29. Donate a wheelchair or guide dog, to someone in need.
30. Create a food parcel and give it to someone in need.

Become an educator

31. Offer to help out at your local school.
32. Mentor a school leaver or student in your field of expertise.
33. Coach one of the extra-mural activities the school offers. You can also volunteer to coach an extra-mural activity the school doesn't offer.
34. Offer to provide tutoring in a school subject you are good at.
35. Donate your old computer.
36. Help maintain the sports fields.
37. Fix up a classroom by replacing broken windows, doors and light bulbs.
38. Donate a bag of art supplies.
39. Teach an adult literacy class.
40. Paint classrooms and school buildings.
41. Donate your old textbooks, or any other good books, to a school library.

Help those living in poverty

42. Buy a few blankets, or grab the ones you no longer need from home and give them to someone in need.
43. Clean out your cupboard and donate the clothes you no longer wear to someone who needs them.
44. Put together food parcels for a needy family.
45. Organise a bake sale, car wash or garage sale for charity and donate the proceeds.
46. To the poorest of the poor, shoes can be a luxury. Don't hoard them if you don't wear them. Pass them on!
47. Volunteer at your local soup kitchen.

Care for the youth

48. Help at a local children's home or orphanage.
49. Help the kids with their studies.
50. Organise a friendly game of soccer, or sponsor the kids to watch a game at the local stadium.
51. Coach a sports team and make new friends.
52. Donate sporting equipment to a children's shelter.
53. Donate educational toys and books to a children's home.
54. Paint, or repair, infrastructure at an orphanage or youth centre.
55. Mentor someone. Make time to listen to what the kids have to say and give them good advice.

Treasure the elderly

56. If you play an instrument, visit your local old-age home and spend an hour playing for the residents and staff.
57. Learn the story of someone older than you. Too often people forget that the elderly have a wealth of experience and wisdom and, more often than not, an interesting story to tell.
58. Take an elderly person grocery shopping; they will appreciate your company and assistance.
59. Take someone's dog for a walk if they are too frail to do so themselves.
60. Mow someone's lawn and help them to fix things around their house.

Look after your environment

61. If there are no recycling centres in your area, petition your area councillor to provide one.
62. Donate indigenous trees to beautify neighbourhoods in poorer areas.
63. Collect old newspapers from a school/community centre/hospital and take them to a recycling centre.
64. Identify open manhole covers or drains in your area and report them to the local authorities.
65. Organise the company/school/organisation that you work with to switch off all unnecessary lights and power supplies at night and on weekends.
66. Engage with people who litter and see if you can convince them of the value of clean surroundings.
67. Organise to clean up your local park, river, beach, street, town square or sports grounds with a few friends. Our children deserve to grow up in a clean and healthy environment.

And remember: "Kindness is more than deeds. It is an attitude, an expression, a look, a touch. It is anything that lifts another person." - C. Neil Strait, pastor

  • Tell us what you plan to do on Mandela day?

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside Travel

 
/News

#FindYourEscape with Traveller24

Your insider guide to exploring South Africa and the world...
 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.