67 Minutes for Mandela
"Mr Mandela has spent 67 years making the world a better place. We're asking
you for 67 minutes."
Nelson Mandela's birthday is on 18 July, and the call is out for people everywhere to
celebrate his birthday by acting on the idea that each person has the power to change
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 burdens. It is in your hands now."
The United Nations officially declared 18 July as Nelson Mandela International Day in
November 2009, recognising Mandela’s "values and his dedication to the service of
humanity" and acknowledging his contribution "to the struggle for democracy
internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world".
The celebration of Mandela Day aims to serve as a global call to action for people to
"recognise their individual power to make an imprint and help change the world
around them for the better", says the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
"Nelson Mandela has been making an imprint on the world for 67 years, beginning in
1942 when he first started to campaign for the human rights of every South African.
His life has been an inspiration to the world," the foundation said.
devoting 67 minutes of their time – one minute for every year of Mandela’s public
service – people can make a small gesture of solidarity with humanity and a step
towards a global movement for good.
- Take action, inspire change, make every day a Mandela Day – find out about
volunteer opportunities or pledge some of your time: www.mandeladay.com
Mandela said at the time of the campaign's launch that he would be "honoured if such
a day can serve to bring together people around the world to fight poverty and
promote peace and reconciliation".
Former US president Bill Clinton said the core of Mandela's example was that "the
power of public good does not require public office, just a well-placed heart and a
"In return for everything Madiba has taught us, we each owe it to him to support his
work and legacy by doing and living our own as best we can,
not just on this day, but
throughout our entire lives."
As City Press
Ferial Haffajee wrote in June 2013, "The excellent Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
has already made clear what the icon wants by way of legacy … he does not
want a legacy cast in copper, concrete or marble, no monuments or highways, but a
living legacy of volunteerism and service.
"What better direction can we ask for as a nation? As we begin the long clamber up
his shoulders to work out how we complete the long walk to freedom, Mandela has
shown us how. It is ours to do, to serve, to give and to complete the work of
Reviewed: July 2013