Home Featured Mandela Day 2022 reignites the spirit of ubuntu

Mandela Day 2022 reignites the spirit of ubuntu

by Zahid Jadwat

July 18 marks International Nelson Mandela Day, reigniting the spirit of ubuntu locally and abroad as individuals and communities offer 67 minutes in service to others.

Catherine Constantinides, a renowned human rights activist and humanitarian, said days like Mandela Day are important because they unite the nation.

“A day like today is important for us to remember that each and every one of us has an opportunity to find some way to be involved in community projects. When we’re able to get involved in unity projects, we’re really able to do so much more,” she said.


“It’s really about how do we galvanize using days like today to remind each other that in fact, this is the spirit with which we must live on a continual basis.”

South Africans from all over the country dedicated 67 minutes to charity and service. Constantinides said there is an urgent need for the nation to fight against poverty and inequality.

“The theme moving forward will be that of food security. I think it’s important that we understand as South Africans [that the] hunger, poverty and the inequality we face in our country is absolutely dire,” she said.

“People are literally starving and through my social justice work on the ground on a continual basis, I’m faced with that. I work with children who only eat every four days – when I go to their school with cups of food – and this food is only made possible by anonymous donors and individuals in their personal capacity.”

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Food can mosaic

The spirit of ubuntu and national pride stood tall at Nelson Mandela Square on Monday, where NGO Ladles of Love built the world’s biggest food can mosaic.

More than 33 000 cans were aligned to show off the colours of the South African flag. They were arranged by volunteers who dedicated 67 minutes in honour of Mandela’s legacy.

According to Ladles of Love CEO Candice Etberg, the NGO provided nearly half a million meals to those in need.

“We are looking to raise R3 million and as of yesterday [July 17], we have raised R1.1 million. We feed 1 million people plus a month. So, we are looking to get as many people fed as possible.”

Meanwhile, at least 57,000 cans have been donated in Cape Town where a separate mosaic was built at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). The cans were arranged to depict a portrait of Mandela.

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Another initiative that has run for a decade in honour of Madiba is the annual Trek4Mandela expedition. With the spirit of ubuntu in mind, a group of hikers led by Sibusiso Vilane summited Mount Kilamanjaro on Monday.

Vilane was the first black African to conquer the South and North Poles and Mount Everest. The hike was meant to raise funds and awareness for the Caring4Girls programme.

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