Five years ago,the world was thrown into mourning following the death of Nelson Mandela, on December 5, 2013. Popularly known as Madiba, Mandela was the first President of South Africa to be elected in democratic election, as well as the country’s first black head of state. He died after a prolonged battle with respiratory infection at the age of 95. When Nelson Mandela passed on, the world all over eulogised him as a selfless leader who stood in the face of great injustices for the freedom, peace and unity of his people.
This year, world leaders join South Africa in celebrating the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birthday.
Nelson Mandela’s legacy lives on five years after his death. The global icon is celebrated for having led South Africa in the quest to overcome the oppressive apartheid regime.
In 1994, the fight against white-minority rule was won as South Africa gained independence and democracy. Mandela became its first black president.
His passion and commitment to cause continues to touch the hearts of many globally. Songs, books, art exhibitions and even charity causes have been started to keep the memories of the great leader alive.
Various activities have been lined up to mark the Nelson Mandela Centenary celebrations even as leaders continue to eulogise the late Madiba.
One of such leaders is former President Obama who paid tribute to the late Mandela for being an example and inspiration of hope. “And now an entire generation has now grown up in a world that by most measures has gotten steadily freer, healthier, wealthier, less violent and more tolerant during the course of their lifetimes. It should make us hopeful,” Obama said.
Other activities included a showcase of the Madiba T-shirt by designer Sonwabile Ndamase in Pretoria, South Africa. Sonwabile redesigned the T-shirt to fit in the latest trend and resonate with the youth. South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) that the showcasing will run over three days from July 19-21.
There is also the planned launch of a sanitary pads production machine at Mandela’s birthplace in Mvezo, Eastern Cape. The event will be led by founder of Beauty with a Purpose, Julia Molley alongside the current Miss World South Africa. The machine has a capacity to produce 2,500 pads per day and will go a long way in empowering women and schoolgirls in the area.
Melrose Gallery’s “The Mandela 100 exhibition” in Melrose Arch that opened on July 11, 2018 is also another activity and will run throughout the celebration period. The exhibition features a variety of artwork including sculptures, paintings, caricatures, photography et cetera. It aims at portraying various elements of Nelson Mandela’s legacy and also his journey as a world icon. The exhibition is curated by Zanele Mashumi.
Indeed, there is also the Trek4Mandela which saw scores embarked on a journey to reach the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania last week. Trek4Mandela is an initiative aimed at bringing together inspired individuals to assist in raising funds and creating awareness on empowering girls. It was established by innovative social entrepreneur and humanitarian Richard Mabaso.
A concert in honour of Mandela’s 100th birthday is scheduled to take place on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg bringing the Nelson Mandela Centenary to a close. Singer Beyoncé and Jay-Z will headline the star-studded concert that will also feature Wizkid, D’banj, Femi Kuti, Chris Martin, Ed Sheeran, Eddie Vedder, Pharrell Williams and Usher among others.