Mandela taught us to be selfless – Lebese

The Kaizer Chiefs squad was at the headquarters of sponsor Vodacom in Midrand this afternoon to help pack 15 000 food packets in celebration of Mandela Day. “I love him,” George Lebese said, “Mandela taught me to be selfless, to put the country first and to look after the disadvantaged.”
The Amakhosi squad was joined by the Blue Bulls rugby squad, which is also sponsored by Vodacom, and the Vodacom wheelchair basketball team. About 2 000 Vodacom staff also participated in the packaging.
The idea of Mandela Day was inspired by Nelson Mandela at his 90th birthday celebrations in London’s Hyde Park in 2008 when he said: “It is time for new hands to lift the burden. It is in your hands now.”
South Africa’s former president has spent 67 years making the world a better place and that’s why every year people are asked to devote 67 minutes – one minute for every year of Mandela’s public service – to make a gesture of solidarity with humanity and a step towards a global movement for good.
The 15 000 buckets included mostly food, but also had educational tools like a notebook and a pen. Each bucket had 16 items. They were all packaged well inside the 67 minutes. In total, 50 000 buckets will be packed and distributed in seven South African provinces.
The buckets will be handed out at schools to children in impoverished areas.
Vodacom is joined in this project by the Gift of the Givers Foundation, who bought most of the items in bulk and re-packaged them so that they would fit in the buckets.
Vodacom’s inaugural food security drive in honour of Mandela Day was launched in 2013.
“Nelson Mandela always said that Sport has the power to change the world,” reacted Itumeleng Khune. “It’s good to be here at Vodacom World and pack food for disadvantaged children.”
Lebese learnt from Mandela to “give back”, which he’s often doing by buying shoes for disadvantaged kids or helping out with school fees.
“Today, 18 July, is the old man’s birthday,” commented Ramahlwe Mphahlele on Mandela Day. “We all try to do our bit. I vividly remember how Nelson Mandela came to visit us at Sparrow Combined School in Sophiatown. He stressed the importance of education, as ‘nobody can take that away from you.’ That’s when I realise that education is key.”
“Mandela suffered immense abuse under the apartheid system,” continued Mphahlele. “However, he never wanted to take revenge. Instead, he united South Africans. It’s great what Mandela has done for this beautiful country.”
Mphahlele’s words were complimented by Blue Bulls’ Hanro Liebenberg: “I was only born in 1995. However, already as a small boy I realised the good things Mandela did for South Africa. We have to follow in his footsteps and try to do something good every day.”