Official T-shirts commemorating the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s 1918 birth are to be sold as part of a broader campaign supporting the Nelson Mandela Foundation centenary initiatives, says marketer Afrikan Soul Headquarters Productions.
The T-shirts will be available locally and internationally on 16 June, the day South Africa celebrates its national Youth Day. The T-shirt bearing Madiba’s face is formed out of 240 words identified as important social values, and Madiba’s wisdom, vision and legacy.
The Foundation’s centenary campaign focuses on creating platforms through which individuals can reflect on the legacy that Mandela, South Africa’s first democratically elected president, left to the country and the world.
The campaign seeks to create a society based on the values for which Mandela stood: integrity, passion, respect, service, transformation and transparency.
The T-shirts are to be manufactured in South Africa by Trade Call Investments (TCI Apparel) and the aim is to honour Madiba by selling a million of them between June and the end of the centenary campaign.
“Mr Mandela was driven by an unshakeable belief in the equality of all people,” says Afrikan Soul Headquarters Productions CEO Cyril Naicker. “He envisioned a South Africa in which all its citizens had equal rights. I am hoping that the activations and campaigns around the one million T-shirt campaign will remind us once again of what truly makes South Africa great.”
Naicker says it is “hugely exciting” that the T-shirts will be manufactured in South Africa. Their sale will accompany initiatives aimed at encouraging dialogue between people on Mandela’s legacy.
“This would not have been possible without the vision and direction of the CEO of TCI Apparel, Herman Pillay, who came up with the idea of one million T-shirts,” says Naicker. “Equally, this would not be possible without the Nelson Mandela Foundation trusting us with this important role.”
The campaign will include a CEO Challenge through which corporate South Africa will be encouraged to buy the centenary T-shirts and to do good deeds for society. They will also be challenged to participate in Mandela Fridays, during which the T-shirts are to be worn every Friday at work and in public.
Other events related to the centenary campaign include Conversations, a series of youth- and millennial-led discussions on Mandela’s life and legacy in relation to current affairs; and an Icons Dinner in 2019, to honour and celebrate Mandela’s life and legacy.