Nelson Mandela International Day (or Mandela Day) is an annual international day in honour of Dr Nelson Mandela, the former President of South Africa, celebrated each year on his birthday 18 July. It is a day to honour the legacy of Nelson Mandela and his values, through volunteering and community service. Mandela Day was inspired by a call Nelson Mandela made in July 2009, for the next generation to take on the burden of leadership in addressing the world’s social injustices when he said that “it is in your hands now”.
It is more than a celebration of Nelson Mandela’s life and legacy; it is a global movement to honour his life’s work and to change the world for the better.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation’s focus and messaging for Mandela Day is based on promoting community and home-based gardens, supporting fruit and indigenous tree planting, and creating awareness of the intersections between food security and climate change. The Foundation will be highlighting the plight of food security and climate change for Mandela Day 2022 with the tagline, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
As part of our responsible business initiatives, Lloyd’s South Africa supports Rise Against Hunger (RAH) Africa and For Afrika, two humanitarian organisations in South Africa that focus on, amongst other issues, eradicating child hunger in Africa and sustainable farming solutions. Mandela Day therefore has particular significance for these organisations as they strive to honour Nelson Mandela’s legacy every day and particularly on Mandela Day. For Mandela Day, RAH will be hosting 55 events nationally in order to achieve their goal of packing over 1 million meals during July 2022.
For Afrika are inspired by Nelson Mandela daily and particularly when he said (in a speech to the United Nations in 1998): “The very right to be human is denied every day to hundreds of millions of people as a result of poverty, the unavailability of basic necessities such as food, jobs, water and shelter, education, health care and a healthy environment.” His words continue to inspire For Afrika to continue working until everyone on our continent has the resources they need to thrive.
Nelson Mandela’s legacy proudly lives on in South Africa and some of our Lloyd’s South Africa team have expressed what Mandela Day means to them:
“Nelson Mandela Day for me means a day to remind us to celebrate ubuntu everyday, to give back to a country and its people whose sacrifices cannot be measured. A day to remember, reunite and rise.”Shevani Sookdeo, General Manager & Deputy Representative, South Africa
“Nelson Mandela International Day is a momentous day which recognises one of the greatest human beings’ birthday. For me personally, I try and connect with the less privileged in my community by donating some clothing and food items. Although Nelson Mandela Day is one day in a year – I personally derive a lot of inspiration from such a great man and I try to live by the values that inspired him.”Boniface Chiwota, Market Development & Strategy Manager, Africa
It is with great pride and emotion that I remember being addressed by Nelson Mandela at university. A man who not only fought for the freedom of all South Africans but asked us to continue to fight social injustices. As the world reflects on Nelson Mandela’s legacy, we give thanks for his life, his leadership and his devotion to humanity and to humanitarian causes. Dr Nelson Mandela, our greatest treasure…..it is indeed in our hands now.
Easvarie Naidoo, Lloyd’s Representative and Head of Compliance, South Africa
18 July 2022