Nelson Mandela File photo: INLSA
To celebrate Nelson Mandela’s love for children on what would have been his 100th birthday, the Centre for Early Childhood Development, together with the Cape Town Museum of Childhood, have developed The Madiba and Children Book, which will be officially be launched on July 18 - Mandela Day.

The 64-page coffee table book includes a unique collection of photographs and stories from people who met Madiba as a child, as well as artworks from almost 100 children from various schools, including Athlone Church of Christ Educare Centre, Inthsinga Primary, Ukhanyo Primary, Rosmead Primary, Livingstone High and Westerford High.

People who have contributed their stories include Danny K and Nandi Yengeni, daughter of Tony Yengeni, among others.

Programme manager Bridget Kahts said: “We are very excited. Every year we do something for Mandela Day. It would’ve been his 100 birthday so we wanted to do something big and celebrate his legacy and love for children.

“There are children’s artworks on every page, so children will enjoy paging through, and their parents can read the stories to them. We decided on a book because it’s something that can last the way his legacy lasted.”

She said there was so much to learn from Madiba in the way he prioritised children. “He took time to talk to children. People prioritise talking to adults, while he would spot a child and take time to talk to make that child feel special and important.

“Many children in the country don’t feel heard. We believe that stimulating children, giving them attention, is so important and can have a lifelong benefit in their life.”

The Madiba and Children Book will be launched with an event of between 200 and 300 people, including the children from the participating schools, the individuals whose stories are told in the book and other guests.

There are 1 000 copies of the book and it will be distributed free of charge. Each child represented in the book will receive a copy and will attend the launch.

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