93 reasons Madiba still matters

2011-07-16 18:01

Across the country and the world people are going out in numbers to celebrate International Nelson Mandela Day.

From Hermanus to Hammanskraal, South Africans have heeded the call to give up 67 minutes for Mandela – in recognition of the 67 years he spent serving the country. Madiba turns 93 tomorrow and charitable initiatives will continue throughout this week.

Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are teeming with people announcing their Mandela Day initiatives as they do their bit.

Non-profit organisations, companies and government have also heeded the call, doing everything from planting seeds to reading to children.

In this tribute we provide 93 reasons why Mandela is still relevant to South Africa today.

We asked celebrities, business leaders, politicians and ordinary folk – in fact just about everybody – and this is what they had to say . . . and do.

Happy birthday Madiba. 

He is the beacon of hope. Of what we can all become if we were to think of the next person for just a moment.
Mpho Maboi: SuperSport presenter

Madiba is loved because he is not perfect, he is just a man who picks good over evil every day.
Anele Mdoda, 5FM DJ

He is a charmer who knows how to play around with words, especially where necessary and relevant.
Malaika singer, Tshedi Mholo

He is a great example of how to forgive ones who have hurt you the most.
Phelo Bala, singer

Madiba is so loved because he is a soldier and is one of the few living legends.
Chad Saaiman, singer

Because of his true and great leadership.
Lebogang ‘Shugasmakx’ Mothibe, rapper

For the lessons of selflessness, courage, love and humility he has strived to instil in every South African and the world. His greatness never overshadowed the work he set out to do.
Hulisani CC Ravele, former child star

More than anything, he freed our minds so that without a shadow of doubt we could also innately believe that the best is possible for us.
V-Entertainment presenter, Dineo Moeketsi

He is a man of the world. After being put away for 27 years he showed and taught us love, reconciliation and forgiveness. He saw the need of being the president just once and he left while people still loved him.
Yvonne Chaka Chaka, musician

He showed us as South Africans in a diverse country how to deal with situations. He is the symbol of freedom, peace and he is diplomatic.
Ryan Bother, model and soccer player

What he fought for, the things he believes in such as fighting against white domination. His love for children. Trying to see the progress of the less fortunate.
Arthur Mafokate, musician

He is seen as a humanitarian all over the globe. He is love in a physical form.
Akumzi Jezile, (yotv) presenter

Because he is the face of freedom and unity and successfully struggled for the South Africa we have today.
Minenhle Dlamini, presenter

Because his legacy and insight makes him timeless and relevant today, and because of the way he managed the transition form apartheid to peaceful democracy. His place is booked in heaven.
Elsie Van Graan, Nelspruit

It is because of the pivotal role he played in liberating the country and the contribution he and his comrades made in bringing the Rainbow Nation together.
Mandlenkosi Hlophe, Kanyamazane

Because of the freedom he brought to all South Africans.
Aggry Malumane, Bushbuckridge

One thing that stands out is the way he handled the transition from apartheid to democracy.
Anthony Sibiya, Sabie

Because of the changes he has brought for all South African citizens. There were no scandals during his time as president and that is something the current leadership needs to look up to.
Fortunate Nkambule, Kanyamazane

He has brought us democracy and fought for both white and black. Even though some other black South Africans believed that Africa is for Africans, he included the white demographic in the new government of South Africa after apartheid.
Akhona Pote, Philippi

Mandela is relevant because he thinks out of the box and can see problems decades ahead. He is so powerful that he wants a country where all people can identify with freedom.
Gamel Hendricks, Cape Town

He was offered to get out of prison and stop fighting for the rights of ordinary people but he refused because he believed in transforming the country.
Ayabulela Ndamose, Crossroads

His greatness was his humility. He did not seek redress for 27 years’ imprisonment and nor did he instigate any reprisal against the white minority.
Lisa Genu, Khayelitsha

Because he understands what it means to fight against enormous odds and because he remained unbeaten and unbowed, despite tremendous outward oppression. He showed that words are much more powerful than weapons.
Owen Kinahan, Camps Bay

He’s the ultimate symbol of selflessness and we should be inspired by his example to selflessly serve our communities.
Niq Mhlongo , author Mandela is relevant because he gave us the gift of humility.

In the face of violent humiliation, he refused the notion that he is great and that gave us and the world a good lesson in humility.
Mbuyiselo Botha , Sonke Gender Justice Network News

Madiba is regarded by millions in our country and on the globe as their hero. A national and international icon who brought about democracy and freedom to the oppressed masses of our country.
President Jacob Zuma

Madiba is not only relevant to South Africa, but to the whole world.
When he coughs, the world sneezes. He has not been living for his family and the country, but for the world as well.
Bantu Holomisa

Madiba is now more relevant than ever.
He symbolises the values of the Constitution which are currently under threat in South Africa.
Helen Zille

Madiba and his generation demonstrated what it meant to be true fighters for liberation, ­including their preparedness to sacrifice everything. Going forward, given the challenges we confront, we will need the same, if not more resolve that Madiba and his generation ­demonstrated.
Thabo Mbeki

Madiba will always be relevant because he is the embodiment of our democracy and constitution. He taught us about reconciliation?.?.?. that we can make peace and get along with our enemies.
Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi

Madiba will remain relevant for a very long time to come. His goal of reconciliation remains an important goal for all of us to achieve. There are some in the governing party who have forgotten the major task of reconciling our people.
Mosiuoa Lekota, Cope

Mandela is no longer merely a man, but a symbol. He represents the achievement of the seemingly impossible; he represents hope. In the midst of all we face as a nation, celebrating hope has become both rare and indispensable.
Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi

Mandela is a product of our struggle for ­freedom. The values of self-sacrifice, of social solidarity, that are the hallmark of the liberation movement, are still relevant today to guide our political life as a nation.
Themba Godi

Mandela will never die because his ideas will never die.
This is not only among freedom and democracy-loving South Africans. A Mandela comes once in a 100 years. I hope we get more.
Zwelinzima Vavi, Cosatu

To us as the SACP Madiba is the embodiment of all that is good about our liberation. We laud him for his selfless service to the people.
Blade Nzimande, SACP

Mandela is relevant in 2011 and beyond ­because the values he represents remain at the core of our vision for South Africa

. Among others, the need for reconciliation. He is a God­given ­leader of the nation and a father to all, black and white.
Mathews Phosa, ANC treasurer-general

He has made it possible for me and many others to live our dreams, in my case of playing for my ­country on an international stage.
Graeme Smith, SA cricket captain

What he taught us of forgiveness, of tolerance, of wisdom and of ­humanity is a lesson for the ages. The miracle he produced in this country is a legacy for which we will be ever grateful.
John Smit, Springbok captain

He is a constant reminder that we must never take peace for granted. He remains an inspiration to all of us. The sacrifices he made together with his colleagues would never be forgotten.
Irvin Khoza, PSL and Orlando Pirates chairperson

I learned how to be a good husband, father and a leader from uTata. He is an icon and a role ­model not only to South Africa but the whole world.
Former Bafana Bafana captain, Lucas Radebe

He was a driving force behind bringing the World Cup to South Africa. He never condemned ­anyone but he embraced and ­continued to give direction. There are many lessons to learn from Mandela.
Danny Jordaan, Safa vice-president

I believe he still is a father to all of us. He changed the face of South Africa. His perseverance and determination gave us hope.
Boxing champion, Dingaan Thobela

Mandela’s legacy will live forever. You get moved by his stories and his speeches. I have five books about him.
John “Shoes” Moshoeu, former Bafana Bafana star

The Mandela name is our key as South Africans. We get recognition internationally because of his name and I think his name will still be relevant to the generations to come.
Mapaseka Makhanya, athletics star

Preparing for Mandela Day! Give it your all, as u’ll do in the tough games ahead!
Bryan Habana, Springbok star

Day Four of Bikers For Mandela! At the Ubombo Orphanage and HIV centre, Jozini!!
DJ Fresh

Need an idea for how to help? Recycle!
Charlize Theron

Tomorrow at 8.05am, 12?million pupils will sing happy birthday to Mandela. People, join in!
SA Info, website

Mandela’s 93 tomorrow Happy B day Nelson
Danny de Vito, actor

I will be giving poor people food 2eat
Tendi Mufamadi

what a special moment! RT @Quathar: @OfficialKimora + @djimonhounsou at the unveiling of their special Mandela gift!
Kimora Lee Simmons, US TV personality

Looking forward to giving back! RT @OfficialCSA: #CSAnews CSA and GCB team up
Kass Naidoo , TV personality

Looking forward to celebrating+commemorating Mandela Day in New York.
Nadia Neophytou , journalist

I’m going to give them blankets away?.?.?. be4 ndisoke ngazo kulemigidi yalenyanga
Anele Mdoda , FM DJ

You inspired lots of ppl to get their freedom, am an Egyptian and one of them
Nagwa Adam , Egypt

May African leaders learn what leading is all about from your legacy?.?.?.
Danilo Macuvele

I’m going to spend the next few months fundraising for Mary’s Chaeli Campaign Cycle Challenge! Do your bit and donate R67?.?.?.
Mary Fourie

Happy Bday! Why not do an event in Tunisia?.?.?.
Chahrawoods Ben Ali, Tunisia

You are our daily inspiration, you have given up everything wnt had for the freedom our south africans. we love you tata
Abel Mashila

A selfless leader, custodian of our freedom nd father of our nation. U ar de Best Tata, May u hav ertenal life
Bafana Sibanyoni

I will donate 67 minutes visiting a child-headed Lukhele family in Reedville near Springs at Ekurhuleni.
Thandeka Mzizi

What are you going to do to make a difference? Something close to my heart is putting a child thru school. Who’s keen to help?
Lesley-Ann Wallace

U sacrificed with everything u have to give us freedom, luv u so much?.?.?. happy birthday tata
Jacob Mosweu

H e is one of the greatest sons ever born on this soil. He is an icon of the world and has served this country with a magic touch and we can never ever repeat a leadership of his calibre.
Dr Richard Maponya, entrepreneur

When we celebrate this birthday we recall the end of the apartheid nightmare and the promise of our new democracy and the man more than any other who made this possible.
Bobby Godsell, chairman of Business Leadership SA

His prominence will last beyond his time precisely because when he made himself a sacrificial lamb, he put the interests of his people first, then his own.
Thabiso Molelekwa, spokesman for taxi association Santaco

Madiba’s presence in our midst should be a constant mirror to all South Africans through which we must look at ourselves and ask if we’re living up to the values and principles he lives all the time.
Cas Coovadia, managing director of Banking Association of SA

Mandela sacrificed so much so that South Africans not only have a right to vote but become liberated economically.
Thami Bolani, chairman of National Consumer Forum

His influence transcended beyond his generation – young and old – and many more to come. His ability was to unify a divided society and turn it into a uniform society in the best ­interests of all South Africans.
Mncane Mthunzi, chief executive of Consumer Goods Council of SA

He was the man who pulled SA out of the hole that the National Party had dug it into.
Moeletsi Mbeki, political commentator

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