A Mandela Day?

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

While announced only today, momentum to designate July 18th as a global ‘Mandela Day’ is mounting.

July 18th is Nelson Mandela’s birthday. The day “is a global call to action for people to recognize their individual power to make an imprint and change the world around them,” according to the official Mandela Day website.

Bill Clinton has signed on. And I’m sure many, many of Mandela’s big name supporters will follow suit. The campaign, launched by The Nelson Mandela Foundation and another Mandela related charity, 46664 (named after Mandela’s prisoner number), will have no shortage of firepower to get this off the ground.

My respond: good for them. Yes, perhaps another day is just another day. But Mandela is as close our world has to a Saint right now. He inspires, he leads. Mr. Mandela should be remembered forever. If this helps preserve his memory into the future, I’m all for it.

Freed At Last

Freed At Last

I’m sure I will tell my children, and my children’s children, about the time I met Nelson Mandela. It was July 1990. Immediately after he was released from prison, he came to thank Canada for our efforts on his behalf and to pressure our government to keep sanctions intact against a still-Apartheid South Africa. I was lucky enough to shake his hand and chat with him in a private room with only a handful of other people.

I was only twelve years old. But the memory says with me like it was yesterday. Who knows—maybe jhr wouldn’t be around today if it wasn’t for the brief moment of awe and inspiration I experienced.

Bring on Mandela Day.


One Response to “A Mandela Day?”

  1. halfhearteddude Says:

    That was raised again in the South African media yesterday. Good idea, as long as his charities and foundations have nothing to to gain by it, I’d be fully behind it. If they do, it’ll just create greater scope for self-aggrandisement for NGO types who have landed in the gravy. Their arrogance is breathtaking.

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