Here’s how you can impress Nelson Mandela – George Bizos

2014-07-17 08:27

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Nelson Mandela’s close friend and confidant George Bizos has some advice for South Africans on the eve of Mandela Day.

“You want to please Mr Mandela? I’ll tell you what will please Mr Mandela. Do you have lots of money? Then build a school or a clinic or a hospital. You don’t have to ask, just do it,” Bizos said during an interview with City Press in the run-up to the annual event.

Bizos, whose friendship with Mandela spanned more than six decades, said his friend was passionate about providing better health care and education for South Africans.

“He didn’t want much for himself. He wanted an egalitarian society.”

Bizos delights in the charitable work that comes with July 18 and has grown fond of the concept that every day should be Mandela Day.

The 85-year-old human rights lawyer said the Freedom Charter was engraved in Mandela’s heart.

“He was not concerned about his position in life.”

Every act of charity on the day – big or small – was equally important, Bizos added.

“I am pleased that not only South Africans, but the world at large actually celebrates his birthday, because he has become not just a South African figure but a world figure.”

To pay homage to his friend’s legacy on Mandela Day tomorrow, Bizos will donate money to the South African Hellenic Educational and Technical Institute (Saheti), which will be used to fund needy pupils’ education.

He said he didn’t think South Africa would ever find another leader like Mandela.

“To say that I will never forget him is not being original. But he was a true friend,” he said as he wiped a tear from his eye.

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