Lets use Mandela's centenary to 'find the Madiba in each of us'

Find a project that deals with poverty and inequality in honour of Madiba, urges Nelson Mandela Foundation chief executive Sello Hatang.

Find a project that deals with poverty and inequality in honour of Madiba, urges Nelson Mandela Foundation chief executive Sello Hatang.

Published Feb 26, 2018


Pretoria - Nelson Mandela Foundation chief executive Sello Hatang has called on South Africans and the world to participate in the Nelson Mandela Centenary celebrations throughout the year.

Hatang said 2018 should be the year everyone makes a difference and helps build the legacy Mandela would be proud of.

“Don’t wait to be led. Don’t wait for someone else to tell you this is what you need to do. Find a corner that needs attention and solve the problem that needs a solution.

“And in 2018, if we can do anything, it needs to deal with poverty and inequality,” he said.

Hatang, who is celebrating 10 years with the foundation, said they were working hard to ensure that Madiba’s vision and work continued to impact on many people’s lives. He said Madiba had a lot of unfinished business.

“Our activities fall into three categories, the first is ensuring that the brand Nelson Mandela and Mandela Foundation continues to respond to challenges, and is spread and makes a difference.

“The second is dealing with poverty and inequality in honour of Madiba. The third is ensuring that we take this legacy to another level in South Africa and globally in terms of values,” said Hatang.

It was important to build a valued-based society, because that was in line with Madiba’s vision.

“Each one of us can then find a Madiba in us, and in the process hold on to the value and make progress,” said Hatang.

The ANC declared 2018 as Nelson Mandela Centenary Year to honour the life and work he did in the country and abroad.

President Cyril Ramaphosa launched the party’s year-long celebrations of the centennial year in honour of Mandela at the Grand Parade in Cape Town at the Nelson Mandela Centenary Celebrations on February 11.

Ramaphosa chose that day as it was on that day in 1990 when Nelson Mandela was released from prison after 27 years.

“He spoke here, not as a prophet, but as a humble servant of you, the people. It was here that he declared that our march to freedom was irreversible. That day will forever remain etched in our collective memory as a moment of great joy and great hope,” Ramaphosa said.

On the day, Ramaphosa encouraged South Africans to work together in honour of Madiba.

“Let us work with even greater purpose to unite our people - African, coloured, Indian and white - to build a new nation in which all have equal rights and opportunities.

“Let us find a way to work together to build a nation in which all our people have jobs, food, good education, good health and security,” Ramaphosa said.

He said that the country celebrated the centenary of Albertina Sisulu too, “a great daughter of the African soil who dedicated her life to the service of her people”.

Hatang said that in honour of Sisulu, South Africans and government should work together to improve the country’s healthcare system.

“She cared about the issues that relate to healthcare. In her, honour, we must make sure that our healthcare systems work. And if you look at Life Esidimeni, we should make sure that those kinds of things don’t happen, in honour of Ma Sisulu.”

The foundation last week held a three-day conference on poverty and inequality and will next month, together with Constitution Hill, host the Human Rights Festival. The aim of the festival is to get all South Africans to resonate with the constitution, and promote and defend human rights.

According to Hatang, they will also be hosting dialogues to get different communities to participate in the centenary.

“In June we will work with young people, identifying projects that will be sustainable. We want to make sure we have people who will further this legacy. On April 9, we will be counting 100 days to Madiba’s birthday, doing a countdown to July 18,” said Hatang.

Every year the foundation calls on people to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to honour Madiba and raise funds for different initiatives, and last week Facebook announced a three-year partnership to support the Nelson Mandela archive

This aims to bring together the geographically-dispersed archives of the life and times of Mandela into a single online collection. Facebook said it would work with the Mandela Foundation in its goal to document preserve and ensure these were made accessible to all.

Hatang said this partnership would help in rolling out multiple projects throughout 2018 which are intended to cement Madiba’s legacy in the public domain.

Pretoria News

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