“Nelson Mandela has fought for social justice for 67 years. We are asking you to start with 67 minutes. We would be honoured if such a day can serve to bring together people around the world to fight poverty, promote peace, reconciliation and cultural diversity.”
The above statement was issued on Nelson Mandela’s behalf to celebrate his legacy and bring about change in society. And as the 18th of July marks Mandela Day, which is the birthday anniversary of South Africa’s first black president, quite a lot of events were scheduled for the celebration of this significant day.
This year’s Mandela Day was observed under the theme “Action Against Poverty.”
To commemorate this remarkable day, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), led by its president, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, dedicated its time by planting vegetables in a garden at Nizam Road Primary School in Wentworth, Durban.
Politicians, South African citizens and many people around the world took 67 minutes of their day to participate in projects (either through donations or community services) that would change or impact at least one person’s life.
“With every seed that is sown in this vegetable garden, we are symbolically sowing into the future of learners, so that they might make their mark on our beloved country” said Buthelezi.
“I want to thank the School Principal Ronnie Basdeo and his team for driving this initiative. The sad reality is that many children need help to meet their basic needs, before they can even begin to focus on education. It is difficult to fill one’s head with knowledge, when one’s belly remains empty,” he continued.
Through his loving heart, Nelson Mandela did not only win the political battle against apartheid and oppression, but he also won the hearts of many because of his vision of a country that is free from poverty. This very vision is what the IFP says it hopes to carry out.
With the shovel in his hands, dressed in blue overalls, IFP leader said that through these celebrations, South Africans get a chance to appreciate their freedom and thus creating unity amongst one another without consideration of political differences.
“This day is about serving. It’s about leaving a legacy, rather than simply making a difference for 24 hours. And that is what we are doing here at Nizam Road Primary School. We are creating a legacy”, he added.
Another unfortunate reality is that many pupils who attend schools located in disadvantaged communities receive their education on an empty stomach. Furthermore, some schools either do not have enough food to feed a large number of learners or do not have a feeding scheme at all.
The idea of a garden is a lot of hard work, but the teachers at Nizam Road Primary were grateful for the assistance and functional steps provided by the IFP delegation to promote a culture of producing their own food as well as stimulate a mentality of self-sustenance.
“This morning we celebrate a plot of land by 20 meters in size. It seems small, but this is just the beginning. It is now upon the commitment of Nizam Road Primary to create a better, more secure future through the strength of our own hands”, Buthelezi said.
To read up more on Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, you can subscribe to his online Newsletter by following this link.