Representatives from the Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF), the Oliver & Adelaide Tambo Foundation and Absa visited Adelaide Tambo School in Soweto on Thursday 31 August 2017 to hand over two minibuses to the school.
“We’ve come here today to send a very strong message,” said NMF Director of Communication and Outreach Luzuko Koti. He said Oliver Tambo and Nelson Mandela had been friends and comrades, both became icons of the liberation movement and both were passionate about education. “What we’re doing today is a symbol of that message and of our commitment to education.”
Koti said the NMF’s relationship with the school started long before the Nelson Mandela International Day (Mandela Day) events, but the Foundation wanted to do more going forward. “We are not going to do these blitz events; we want to take action, inspire change and make every day a Mandela day.”
Taking action means people should look around and find out what they can do to make a difference, he explained, adding that this would inspire others to make a difference, too. “Don’t just do it for one day; make it your conviction to do something to make a difference every day.”
Koti thanked Absa for its ongoing commitment to social justice. He also thanked Oliver and Adelaide Tambo’s son, Dali Tambo, who attended the event as a trustee of their foundation, for “keeping the fire burning and the legacy of Oliver and Adelaide Tambo alive”.
Adelaide Tambo School Principal Lindela Memani was overwhelmed with emotion as he thanked both foundations and Absa. He noted that the minibuses will provide much-needed relief to the school as it is involved in many extramural activities, including sports and music.
The school, in White City, Jabavu, caters for learners with learning difficulties owing to physical and intellectual disabilities. Most come from disadvantaged families and rely on the school to provide the best care and education possible.
Themba Gwamanda, head of CRES Africa Citizenship, a division of Absa, said, “As CRES, we see ourselves as a lever for societal change. We believe in shared growth in everything we do. We look at how we can partner with communities and make a difference. Because when they grow, we grow.”
Education is one of the big challenges facing communities, he said. “This is not the last thing we want to do here. We want to help with infrastructure, provide you with computers, and refurbish the computer lab and the library.”
Handing over the keys to the minibuses, Theshnee Sinan, National Commercial Manager of Absa Vehicle Management Solutions, said, “Our aim is to help organisations to prosper and reach their full potential. We identified transport as a huge concern at the school and that is why we decided to donate these vehicles.”
Dali Tambo quoted his mother: “Our fight is not quite done. Let us fight for the right to be literate, questioning, educated. Only then will we truly be able to claim that we have won our liberty. Education, education, all the way.”
He urged the learners to see education as a gateway to anything they want to do in life. “My mother believed in education more than anything, and that is why this school is so dear to us and why you are all so important to us as the foundation,” he said.
Tambo also thanked Memani for his unwavering commitment to the school.