46664: global campaign for change
Nelson Mandela was sent to prison on Robben Island in 1964; he was the 466th
prisoner to arrive that year. He was given the prison number 46664.
Thirty-eight years later, Mandela gave his number to a global HIV/AIDS prevention
and awareness campaign as a reminder of the sacrifices he made for a cause he
believed in. 46664 (pronounced "four, double six, six four") was established in 2002
as an independent, not-for-profit organisation.
Mandated to engage the world's youth, a series of high-profile concerts was planned - starting with a concert in November 2003 in Cape Town, which saw artists such as Beyoncé, Baaba Maal, Angelique Kidjo, Peter Gabriel, Yvonne Chaka Chaka and the Eurythmics perform.
In the following years, Norway, Spain and the UK also hosted concerts. In 2008, a special tribute concert was held in London in celebration of Madiba's 90th
'It's in our hands'
At the concert, Mandela told the Wembley Stadium audience, "even as we celebrate, let us remind ourselves that our work is far from complete. Where there is poverty and sickness including Aids, where human beings are being oppressed, there is more work to be done.
"Our work is for freedom for all... it's time for new hands to lift the burdens. It's in
your hands now."
The 46664 campaign has broadened its approach to heed Mandela's call, taking up
issues of social injustice and to ensure his humanitarian legacy.
International Nelson Mandela Day
"Take action; inspire change; make every day a Mandela Day.”
Held on Mandela's birthday, July 18, Mandela Day is a call to honour Madiba's
legacy through "service to one's fellow human". The idea is to inspire individuals to
take action to help change
the world for the better, and in doing so build a global
movement for good.
In November 2009, the UN General Assembly declared 18 July "Nelson Mandela
International Day" in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution
to the culture of peace and freedom.
Mandela spent 67 years in the service of humanity - as a human rights lawyer, a
prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically
elected president of a free South Africa. In marking the day, people are urged to
spend 67 minutes of their time to helping others.
46664 ambassadors are musicians, artists and sportsmen and women who have
committed to supporting 46664. They include celebrities
who have performed at his
concerts and have become global fans, such as Annie Lennox, Bono, Will Smith,
Danny K and Vusi Mahlasela.
To ensure that it becomes sustainable in its own right, the organisation says it has
"partnered with carefully selected commercial and social profit entities" and has
initiated projects such as: