Johannesburg - Media24 is inviting celebrities, politicians, struggle stalwarts, musicians, actors, artists, sport stars and writers to join its 32-hour readathon of Nelson Mandela's autobiography Long Walk to Freedom to celebrate International Mandela Day.The readathon will start on Sunday, July 17, at 09:30, and conclude on Monday July 18, at 17:30. It will take place 30m from Mandela House, on the corner of Vilakazi and Mvubu streets, Orlando West, Soweto, on the grounds of Phefeni Secondary School.The readathon will conclude with an auction of the two copies of the book that had been read and signed by each of the readers.- Read more: Nelson Mandela Day"Our Mandela Day readathon supports the Department of Basic Education’s national Read to Lead campaign to foster a culture of reading amongst South Africans,” Media24 chief executive Esmaré Weideman said."What better way to pay tribute to Madiba on his birthday than to read his story, in his words, in a place that meant home to him."In his autobiography, Mandela described his return to Orlando West in 1990 as the moment he felt he was free from prison: "That night I returned with Winnie to No. 8115 in Orlando West. It was only then that I knew in my heart I had left prison. For me No. 8115 was the centre point of my world, the place marked with an X in my mental geography".Proceeds from the auction of the two copies of the book will fund a reading series developed by WeCan24, Media24’s flagship corporate social investment educational programme, and educational publisher Via Afrika.The Golden Series, well known as Die Goue Reeks and formerly only available in Afrikaans, will be translated into English and later into more South African languages.The series is aimed at foundation phase learners and will be distributed free of charge to schools nationwide.Visitors to the 32-hour event on July 17 and 18 will be invited to leave their handprint on the 67m-long cloth wall outside the venue. Furniture will be made from the fabric and donated to WeCan24 school media labs nationwide.*News24 is a division of Media24 which is in the Naspers group.