Nelson Mandela International Day: A catalyst for positive change

18th July 2023

UKZN Extended Learning

– by Ayanda Radebe

Nelson Mandela International Day is dedicated to honouring and remembering former president Nelson Mandela. He left a legacy to which he devoted his life fighting for freedom, social justice, and equality. This year, we commemorate this day by honouring this true icon’s legacy and by promoting his values of peace, reconciliation, and service to humanity. While it is important to remember his legacy, it is also paramount to acknowledge the impact this had made globally, and especially in South Africa.

As citizens let us be reminded this Mandela Day, of the true spirit of Ubuntu, which is a concept that is deeply rooted in the African philosophy and highlights the interconnectedness of all people, regardless of social status and ethnic groups. This encourages us people to realize how connected we are and further extends to the saying “umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu” (I am because you are). It further encourages the practice of kindness amongst one another which can commonly be extended to those in need in our communities, to create a compassionate society.

Living a life that is meaningful is one aspect, but living a life where you are remembered for the impact that you have made in other people’s lives is another aspiring aspect. By remembering the true legend Nelson Mandela, let us do so by following in his footsteps and working to understand our purpose to leave the print or mark that we are meant to as individuals. Let us renew our commitment to advocating for those whose voices have been silenced, transforming systems that perpetuate inequality and become catalysts for positive change.

This day provides us with an opportunity to reflect on what was and bring about the positive change we need in this world. By practising the spirit of Ubuntu, we are actively upholding the Mandela Day legacy and continuing to strive for a better future. Let us celebrate this day by creating a world that is equal for all.