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We have a month to go before International Mandela Day. The words “Mandela, Madiba and Tata” unite our nation and the world.
We have been called to action by our former president, international icon, elder statesman, hero, leader and father of the nation, who gave so selflessly of himself through personal sacrifice and a profound amount of heart, compassion, reconciliation and forgiveness.
We all have memories of how Madiba touched us.
Whether you’ve had the privilege to meet him in person or observe him from afar, he inspires hope in our hearts.
He allows us to dream and makes us believe in possibility. He unites us.
Yesterday, LeadSA, the Department of Basic Education, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Proudly South African, Brand SA and the SHOUT Foundation unveiled the special Happy Birthday Madiba song for Mandela Day.
We are not only appealing to millions around the world to do 67 minutes of community service on July 18 – but also to show how much we love Madiba by singing this special song.
We recently gathered in our thousands at Nelson Mandela Square in Joburg to record the song.
Many can testify to the emotion that gripped us all.
We stood united as South Africans – and from all walks of life – as children of Nelson Mandela’s legacy, we sang Happy Birthday to our beloved tata.
Madiba's legacy is one of active citizenship.
We call on each and every South African to unite and sing Happy Birthday to Madiba at 8am on July 18.
Whether you are at home, in your car, in the street, in a factory or office or at school – do the right thing, stand up and make a difference.
Take a minute and sing the Happy Birthday song.
Most of all, it is about calling each and every citizen to action.
Do your 67 minutes of community service on Mandela Day. In fact, do more if you can – make every day a Mandela Day.
You can download the special birthday song by SMSing the word MADIBA to 44009. Standard VAS rates and data costs apply.
The video of the recording is available on YouTube.
Search for “Sing for Madiba” and visit www.singformadiba.com to download the video and audio.
SA Rugby and the Springboks together with thousands of spectators will sing Happy Birthday to Madiba at the Test match in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
This is an amazing platform to leverage support from our sporting fraternity.
Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula will join in.
Manchester United will be touring in July.
Fans will sing before the matches on Mandela Day and also on Saturday, July 21 in Durban and Cape Town.
We will have the voices of more than 12 million children and teachers.
We also invite companies, universities, NGOs, government departments and individuals to join us to have their voices heard across the globe.
We have invited foreign representatives in our country to assist by getting 67+ countries, or 94+ countries, to join the initiative and sing Happy Birthday to Madiba at 8am – their local times and also to get their citizens to do 67 minutes of community service.
Without your voices and hands we will not be able to achieve our goal of getting the nation to sing Happy Birthday to tata and do community service.
Let’s make Madiba’s 94th birthday the magic of legends and an enduring memory.
We want to give him his best birthday present – the love of the world.
Get ready for your community service now.
There are many needs.
Volunteer at a local school or charity, or assist someone in need.
It’s time to roll up our sleeves and do something.
Let’s do it for Madiba.
Let’s do it for our country.
Let’s do it for the world.
l Yusuf Abramjee is head of news and current affairs at Primedia Broadcasting and also chairman of the National Press Club. He writes in his personal capacity. Twitter address – @abramjee.