18 numerical oddities for Madiba’s 100th birthday

File picture: Elmond Jiyane/AP

File picture: Elmond Jiyane/AP

Published Jul 18, 2018


Anti-apartheid revolutionary and former President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born on 18 July 1918 in Mvezo, in the Eastern Cape and died on 5 December 2013 in Johannesburg, at age 95. From 1962 to 1990, Madiba spent 27 years of his life in prison for standing up against an apartheid government committing terrible human rights crimes against black South Africans. 

Despite his imprisonment in the harsh conditions imposed by the apartheid regime, Madiba never gave up on his beliefs and vision for freedom and peace. After his release from prison, he paved the way for the abolition of apartheid in 1994 and that same year, he was elected South Africa’s first black president. Madiba’s enduring legacy will always be an immortal symbol for humanity not only in Africa but all around the world. 

18 July 2018 marks Madiba’s centennial birthday and in honour of this great human being, I constructed the following 18 numerical oddities:

1. If numbers 1 to 26 are assigned to the letters of the English alphabet, the sum of the numbers assigned to the letters of Mandela equals 50. Mandela’s new age, 100, equals twice 50.

2. Furthermore, twice 100 equals 200 and interestingly, Madiba’s birthday coincides with the 200th day of each leap year.

3. The rightmost two digits of 2018 given by 18 equals to the day number of Madiba’s birthday and the difference of the digits of 18 yields its month number.

4. If Madiba’s 100th birthday 18/07/2018 is reversed as 81027081, 81027081 divided by the sum of its digits (27) equals 3001003, a special palindromic prime number.

5. 3001003 is the 114th palindromic prime number which follows 98689, the 113th palindromic prime number. Number 114 equals 50 (Mandela) plus 64 and the 64th prime number is 311, the reverse of 113.

6. Also, 3 times 113 yields 339 and coincidentally, Madiba died on the 339th day of 2013, that is, 5 December 2013.

7. Moreover, the reverse of 64 is 46 and the 46th prime number is 199. Interestingly, Madiba was born on the 199th day of 1918 and his 100th birthday coincides with the 199th day of this year too.

8. Further, the prime factors of 46 are 2 and 23 and the sum and the difference of 2 and 23 equal 21 and 25, respectively. The 21st and 25th prime numbers are 73 and 97 and the product of these two prime numbers yields 7081, the reverse of Madiba’s birth date, 18/07.

9. The sum of the numbers assigned to the letters of Nelson Mandela equals 129 and the prime factors of 129, namely 3 and 43, add up to 46 (see bullet item # 7).

10.   Madiba died 225 days before his 96th birthday and interestingly, 96 equals the sum of the numbers assigned to the letters of his middle name Rolihlahla and 225 equals the sum of the numbers assigned to the letters of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

11. Additionally, the sum of the digits of 96 equals 15 and 15 x 15 is 225. Furthermore, 15 plus 15 yields 30 and 30 equals the sum of the numbers assigned to the letters of Madiba.

12. If Madiba’s 100th birthday expressed as 18/07/2018 is split in the middle as 1807 and 2018, the reverse of 1807, namely 7081, equals 73 x 97 and these two prime numbers add up to 170. The prime factors of 2018 are 2 and 1009 which are the 1st and 169th prime numbers and the sum of 1 and 169 equals 170 too.

13. The sum of the numbers assigned to the letters of South Africa equals 83 + 38 = 121

. If numbers assigned to the letters of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela are put side by side as 145121

91514 18151298121



, number 121

repeats in this pattern four times. Also, if 2018 is split as 20 and 18, the sum of these two numbers yields 38 (Africa).

14. Madiba was born in 1918 on 187 (18 July) and twice the product of the digits of 187 equals 112. If Madiba’s 100th birthday expressed as 18072018 is split as 1807 and 2018, these two numbers differ by 211, the reverse of 112. Additionally, the sum of the squares of 18 and 7, the day and month numbers of Madiba’s birthday, equals 373 and 373 is the 74th prime number. The reverse of 74 is 47 and the 47th prime number is 211.

15. The day Madiba died in 2013 expressed as 512 (5 December) is the highest-power date in the day/month date format since 512 = 2^9. Further, the anniversary date of Madiba’s death in 2048 expressed as 5/12/2048 will be special because 512 x 4 = 2048.

16. Note also that in bullet item # 13, number 512 repeats three times in the number pattern assigned to the letters of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

17. The day Madiba died expressed as 5/12/13 was a Pythagorean Day since 5^2 + 12^2 = 13^2. Moreover, the product of the digits of 51213 equals 30 (Madiba).

18. Lastly, if the date of Madiba’s death written as 5/12/2013 is split into 5, 12, 20, and 13, the sum of these four numbers equals 50 (Mandela).

Happy 100th birthday, Madiba!

* Aziz Inan is currently a professor and chair of the electrical engineering program in the Donald P. Shiley School of Engineering at University of Portland and can be reached at [email protected].

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

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