Adjekpagbon Blessed Mudiaga
South Africa’s late first black President, Dr. Nelson Mandela, has been posthumously honoured by South Africans, for his service to the country for 67 years. His birthday on Saturday, July 18 was marked by his admirers with 67 minutes of community action and charity around the former apartheid enclave.
His birth day celebration otherwise known as Mandela Day was established in 2009. It is annually used to stimulate South Africans to imbibe Mandela’s love and humanitarian legacy as regards the decades he struggled and became victorious over white apartheid regimes.
Books, toys and blankets were among the items distributed by volunteers at orphanages, coupled with the tidying up public areas countrywide, prior to sharing the activities on social media.
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, his former wife, entertained needy women and elderly people in Soweto, at the Mandela family restaurant near the family’s home which is now a museum.
On the occasion, while distributing blankets to needy women and elderly folks present, she said “Bettering the lives of our people,” has been the philosophy of the Mandela Day celebration.
Elizabeth Khoba, 77 years, one of the elderly folks who lived near the late statesman recalled what Mandela went through by saying “It makes me happy but it reminds me of the past, of the apartheid years.” She also described the late Madiba as “a very tall chap” who chided misbehaving children in the neighborhood.
Nonetheless, Archbishop Desmond Tutu (rtd), who also once lived within very nearby doors in the neighbourhood with Mandela, described him as a man whose span was “a lifetime of selflessness and example of humanity for the ages.” Mandela was his fellow Nobel laureate of peace.