Media Statement: To Those Who Didn’t Look Away on Mandela Da
From: Nelson Mandela Foundation
Date of Publication: 19 July 2021
When we launched Mandela Day 2021 earlier this year, some questioned our focus on the connections between food insecurity and the rule of law. After the events of the last ten days it is clear that the nexus between these two is indelible and will become a critical space for social action in the weeks and months ahead. We thank all those who rose to the Mandela Day challenge in the most trying of circumstances and in the spirit of Madiba contributed to addressing the critical needs in this historically significant moment for South Africa.
We are grateful to so many institutional partners for supporting Mandela Day 2021. Internationally, the faithful and consistent backing of the United Nations and its Secretary-General always makes a difference. Initiatives by South African embassies around the world keeps the candle burning. We applaud just under 2 000 cyclists from many countries who supported Ride4Hope. Partners from the public and private sectors, as well as from civil society, rose to the challenge in innovative and relevant ways. Messages of support from friends of the Foundation raised our spirits – thank you Zozibini Tunzi, Miss Universe 2019; thank you Shudufhadzo Musida, Miss SA 2020; Natasha Joubert, Miss Universe 2020; Dr Thato Mosehle, Miss Supranational SA 2020; thank you Michelle Constant; thank you Siya Kolisi and Tendai Mtawarira; thank you Lewis Hamilton, thank you all. And we are grateful, as always, to our donors who make Mandela Day and our other work possible.
In the early years of the Mandela Day campaign, we were constantly humbled by people finding ways to meet the needs of society’s most vulnerable without fanfare or campaign connection. “This year we saw that so clearly again,” said Foundation Chief Executive Sello Hatang. “All week in the run-up to Mandela Day we saw communities making peace in the hotspots of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, assisting law enforcement services with the protection of infrastructure and systems, and mobilising support for emergency relief and clean-up work. Harnessing such energy must be central to Mandela Day activations in the months ahead. As will addressing the manifestations of racism, which reared its ugly head again in the midst of crisis.”
Making every day a Mandela Day can contribute to South Africa’s recovery from the devastation of the last week. The Foundation stands ready to work with institutional partners and vulnerable communities for as long as it takes. Each1Feed1 is available as an instrument for ensuring that the most vulnerable can put food on the table in desperate times. “A country can choose to define itself by the worst things that it does to itself,” said Hatang. “Or it can define itself by its resilience, its willingness to step up, and its determination to learn the lessons and rebuild the foundations.”
It is time for South Africa to define itself in a way which would make Madiba proud.
Manager: Communications & Advocacy
Nelson Mandela Foundation
+27 (0)76 420 1910
A gallery of images from Mandela Day 2021.