Nelson Mandela International Day

Quick Facts - ZA

AKA NameNelson Mandela Day
HashtagsCompiled on#MandelaDay, #NelsonMandelaDay, #NelsonMandela, #MandelaDay2020
2024 Date18 July 2024
2025 Date18 July 2025

Nelson Mandela International Day

Nelson Mandela International Day in

Nelson Mandela International Day History

Nelson Mandela International Day is a global observance that aims to honour the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela, an iconic South African statesman and champion for human rights. The day seeks to inspire people around the world to be agents of change and to take up the challenge of making the world a better place, with an emphasis on promoting democratic values, conflict resolution, racial harmony, and socio-economic upliftment.

The United Nations officially declared Nelson Mandela International Day in November 2009, following a proposal made a year earlier during Mandela's 90th birthday celebrations. For the people of South Africa, this day not only fosters national pride and unity but also provides an opportunity to reflect on Mandela's selfless struggle, sacrifices, and tireless efforts to eradicate apartheid, achieve freedom, and lay the foundations for an inclusive and prosperous democratic nation. This observance also encourages South Africans to take pride in their rich cultural heritage and recall Mandela's call for peace, kindness, and empathy.

Across South Africa, Nelson Mandela International Day is observed through various activities aimed at promoting social justice, sharing Mandela's life stories, and encouraging community service and volunteerism. Thousands of individuals and organizations participate in educational programs, blood donation drives, food and clothing distribution, and environmental clean-ups. This annual observance takes place on Nelson Mandela's birthday, the 18th of July, serving as a reminder of his unwavering commitment to freedom, equality, and the betterment of South Africa and the world.

Facts about Nelson Mandela International Day

  • Nelson Mandela had six children.
  • Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life in prison and ended up spending over 27 years in prison. He was eventually released from prison due to secret talks he had with the president of South Africa at the time, F.W. de Klerk.
  • After being arrested in 1962 and charged with conspiracy to overthrow the state, Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment. He spent 18 years on Robben Island before being transferred to Pollsmoor Prison and later, Victor Verster Prison.
  • Mandela co-founded the ANC Youth League in 1944, which played a key role in mobilizing young activists against apartheid. Later, the ANC became South Africa's ruling party after the end of apartheid.

Top things to do in South Africa for this observance

  • Devote 67 minutes of your day to helping others (volunteering, helping mom, cleaning, etc.). For 67 years, Nelson Mandela fought for humanity and on every July 18th, Mandela's birthday, the UN and the NMF ask citizens of the world to devote 67 minutes of time to helping others.
  • Nominate someone or an organization that you think serves every day. If you think they make a positive change in your community you can nominate those you think deserve acknowledgement as a Madiba Change Maker by sharing their stories on social media with the hashtag #Time2Serve.
  • Watch The Story of Nelson Mandela (2018). This documentary, produced by the BBC, provides a comprehensive look at the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela.
  • Read Conversations with Myself by Nelson Mandela. It is a collection of letters, journal entries, and interviews that offer glimpses into Mandela's thoughts and experiences throughout his life.

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