“Foremost, this day is more than a birth date of an icon,” says Chairman Kaizer Motaung. “It is instead a blessing and reminder to all of us to be peaceful and share in the values that demonstrate Ubuntu. Mandela day triggers our senses in more ways than one. The world is plagued by countless challenges including amongst many, poverty and the many forms of abuse that we are faced with each day.”
The international Nelson Mandela Day is celebrated and commemorated annually in honour of Nelson Mandela, on 18 July, which is Madiba’s birthday. The day was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009, with the first UN Mandela Day held on 18 July 2010.
“I wish to celebrate Madiba everlastingly for he has inspired a true sense of Love and Peace in the world. Coincidentally, his values are in line with our belief system at Kaizer Chiefs,” praises Motaung. “I wish everyone to be reignited by the memories he left us in his documented Long Walk to Freedom and many speeches he has shared. To remain peaceful and yet resolute to confront issues with the aim of bringing change in the world.
“I think this Mandela Day happens during an unprecedented time in our lifetime. Epic in the list of challenges that we are facing is the Covid-19 pandemic. Mandela would be looking at this and, in his ways, offering guidance and leadership towards mitigating against the impact of this monstrous disease.
“We must use this day to reflect on the new world that is beckoning,” reiterates Motaung. “I look at this day and remember when I played football in the US. I played and lived in the US when Atalanta was undergoing change. It was inspirational to live in the same neighbourhood with Martin Luther Jnr. That had an impact on society. I did not get a chance to have direct interaction with the icon because at the time they were traveling around with the defiance campaigns.”
“I had a privilege to get in direct contact with the activist would later become the Mayor of Atalanta, Andrew Young,” reveals Motaung. “Atlanta was undergoing major political and societal change, Young was installed to spearhead the change. We met him, introduced him during matches and occasionally in the other events.”
Mandela Day’s 2020 theme is to act, inspire change, and make every day a Mandela Day. Everyone is encouraged to contribute to the Each1Feed1 campaign.
Motaung urges all South Africans and all the citizens of the world to observe this day. “There are many ideas of commemorating this day,” concludes Motaung, but, what is important is to make every day a Mandela Day. I think that will make Madiba in his sleep a happy person. We also need to be mindful in our acts and act responsibly by taking into consideration the Government Regulations of Covid-19. Let’s keep adhering to the restrictions of social distancing, hygiene and wear our masks when in public.”
Meanwhile, Kaizer Motaung Jnr through his foundation will be working with Brand SA and Miss South Africa Sasha-Lee Laurel Olivier, as they will be out in Benoni in Ekurhuleni today. They will be visiting schools where they will inspire young people and giving messages on hope.
The Kaizer Motaung Foundation will continue with the philanthropic work as they will be giving away groceries to those in need as well as Kaizer Chiefs merchandise to inspire young men in the area to play football.
Make everyday a Mandela Day!