The world marks Nelson Mandela Day with a call to emulate the spirit of the beloved global icon, and his vision of social justice and freedom for all. Pictured is a member of the Maitibolo Cultural Troupe when Mandela was being treated at the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in 2013. Picture: AP
The world marks Nelson Mandela Day with a call to emulate the spirit of the beloved global icon, and his vision of social justice and freedom for all. Pictured is a member of the Maitibolo Cultural Troupe when Mandela was being treated at the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in 2013. Picture: AP

Tata Madiba: What Mandela Day means to SA's kids

By Viwe Ndongeni-Ntlebi Time of article published Jul 18, 2020

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Mandela Day is an annual day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each year on 18 July, Mandela's birthday. 

The day was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009, with the first UN Mandela Day held on 18 July 2010.

The slogan “Make every day Mandela Day” is echoed each year, with the idea of 67 minutes to be kind, selfless and actually lend a hand to those in need.

We asked children what Mandela Day means to them and what kindness means.

Here is what they had to say: 

Matthew Murphy, 4 

Tata Madiba’s Birthday!

Being caring and giving your toys and clothes that you don’t need or use to someone who doesn’t have any.

Joshua Jara, 7

Mandela Day is Tata Mandela

Helping Mama and Daddy with cleaning and helping my school friends.

Uminathi Tshaka, 7

Mandela Day means collecting all the nice toys I don't use and donate them to charity. Plus, I’m turning 8 on Mandela Day.

Kindness means being nice to people and respecting everyone.

Rebekah Adams, 9

Mandela day means a lot to me, it shows that we must care that Nelson Mandela had done a lot for our country, we must respect that he never stopped fighting for us.

Kindness means to me that being rude is not an answer, people shouldn't bully others and we should always be kind as much as we can.

Isa Abrahams, 11

Mandela Day means keeping Mandela’s memory alive and to do things in the community.

Kindness means sharing with those less fortunate than you.

Mihle Sicam, 12

Mandela day to me is remembering uTata Madiba, remembering how he for 67 years fought for social justice democracy and for freedom. It's remembering the South Africa he made and celebrate the idea that we all have power and ability to make a change in our world.

Kindness to me is being polite to someone. Asking them literally how they are, showing them love, support, consideration and generosity.

Asonele Msindwana, 13

Mandela Day means spending your day helping your community by donating food to poor homes and helping homeless people, poor children with clothes, shelter and toys for then to play. 

Kindness means, showing love to others by doing something wonderful or good for them like donating food and clothes that you don’t use. Kindness is not limited to donating things to others, it also means supporting and caring for others. 

Mia-Mae van Vrede, 14

Mandela day to me is the celebration of the amazing historical things Nelson Mandela has done for all of us and how much he's went through to keep his country thriving.

Nelson Mandela was a very brave, honourable, tough, kind-hearted man.

More of us should strive to have at least 2 of those things.

Kindness to me means doing something or giving someone something with a joyful heart and not just because you have to do it.

It can also be offering to help out at an old aged home or a soup kitchen at a local church in you're a community.

Being kind is also like being polite, kindly give someone a nice compliment on their hair looking slayed or there eyebrows being on fleek on that day, something that will make them feel a spark of joy.

Even just smiling to someone who is looking down is an act of kindness in my eyes.

A phrase I use often says before you do something or say something you need to ask yourself will this be, honest, kind and true.

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