Mandela Day

2015-07-15 06:00


Nelson Mandela: ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which can be used to change the world.’

Nelson Mandela: ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which can be used to change the world.’

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MANDELA Day will be celebrated nationally and internationally on Saturday 18 July, Nelson­ Mandela’s birthday. The idea was inspired by Mandela at his 90th birthday celebrations in London in 2008 at a concert in Hyde Park, London.

The United Nations officially declared this day Nelson Mandela International Day in recognition of his “values and dedication to the service of humanity” as well as acknow-ledging his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world. Mandela said at the time of the launch that he would be “honoured if such a day can serve to bring together people around the world to fight poverty and promote peace and reconciliation”.

Few people have had as much impact on history as Madiba – for 67 years this selfless man sacrificed so much to rewrite the history of generations of South Africans and the world.

On Mandela Day people are asked to devote 67 minutes of their time – one minute for every year of Mandela’s public service, and take action to inspire change. He believed that every individual has the ability to change the world for the better, no matter how big or small the contribution. Every day can be a Mandela Day – not just 18 July.

During his lifetime Mandela inspired with his numerous words of wisdom, and his words remain evergreen:

• “I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed towards the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”

• “I learnt that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

• “Education is the most powerful weapon which can use to change the world”

• “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”

• “If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named goodness and forgiveness.”

• “I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter. I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.”

Take just 67 minutes on Saturday, and make a positive difference.

“I LEARNT THAT COURAGE WAS NOT THE ABSENCE OF FEAR, BUT THE TRIUMPH OVER IT. THE BRAVE MAN IS NOT HE WHO DOES NOT FEEL AFRAID, BUT HE WHO CONQUERS THAT FEAR.”

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