Celebrating an African Hero: Nelson Mandela International Day

 "It is easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build."  - Nelson Mandela
“It is easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build.” – Nelson Mandela

The Nelson Mandela International Day is observed every year on July 18th to honour the life and legacy of a true African hero, Nelson Mandela. He was born on July 18th, 1918, in the small village of Mvezo in South Africa. Mandela was born in a South Africa divided by racial discrimination known as apartheid. 

Mandela was involved in anti-apartheid activism during his university years. Despite the many challenges and obstacles in his life such as spending 27 years in prison, he remained committed to his values and made a lasting impact in the world. His release from prison in 1990 marked a turning point in South Africa as he continued his activism and played a crucial role in ending apartheid. He also played a vital role in transitioning South Africa into a democratic state and became the first democratically elected black president from 1994 to 1999.

Admired as a global Icon for peace and justice, Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for his efforts to end apartheid and promote human rights. Nelson Mandela’s life and leadership left an everlasting imprint on South Africa and the rest of the world.

His dedication to forgiveness and reconciliation became a model for conflict resolution and peace-building.

The United Nations established Nelson Mandela International Day in November 2009 to celebrate his contribution to humanity and to inspire people globally to make a positive difference in their communities. In honour of the day, people are encouraged to spend 67 minutes, representing Mandela’s 67 years of service to humanity to do something that helps others. 

Some ideas on what to do include:

  1. Volunteering
  2. Donating to Charity
  3. Supporting Education Initiatives
  4. Spreading Awareness about Mandela’s Life and Values.

Nelson Mandela passed away in 2013, and his legacy lives on as a true African hero.

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