The Beauty of Mandela Day

Although this post comes two days late, I still felt I had to share it with all of you.

On Thursday the 18th, the world celebrated Mandela Day, which was made even more poignant due to Mandela’s critical sate of health. For me, it was more that just doing 67 Minutes in service to others. It was about celebrating his legacy – one of courage, persistence, tolerance and forgiveness.

As a person who believes in continuously doing my part to help my community, I was ecstatic to take part in an event organised by the NPO I am part of, known as Ubunye (Unity) here at UCT. We, as a development agency and student society brought to campus, 40 students from a high school in the Khayelitsha township of Cape Town to tutor, mentor and engage them in relevant discussions in the form of debating.

This was different to what we do with them every week. We took them out of their community and brought them to ours. We created a link to UCT and to our culture, showing them that we’re not so far removed from their world. That UCT, tertiary education and access to computers on a daily basis is not something they are completely closed off to.

However, the highlight of the day was when we stood on the iconic Jammie Plaza, singing the South African national anthem, hand in hand in a symbol of unity and togetherness. In the spirit of tata Madiba, we were there for a common cause – to learn from and grow with each other, no matter our skin colour or history, for a better south Africa.

The beauty of a simple action like standing in a circle and holding hands overwhelmed me. My heart sang and my eyes watered – I felt that I had done something to better someone’s life that day.

I hope and pray that had a beautiful Mandela Day as did I. But more importantly, I hope that you found joy and satisfaction from being able to be of service to others in whatever small way. Finally, I implore you to make it more that 67 minutes. May you make it a habit to make a difference everyday.

Till next time,


If you’re interested in and would like to know more about Ubunye, and its projects, check out our facebook page: https://www​
Also, check out a video of what we did on Mandela Day:

Matthew Goniwe Memorial High School learners arrive at UCT

Matthew Goniwe Memorial High School learners arrive at UCT

Students learn some essential computer skills - for some, it was the first time using a computer.

Students learn some essential computer skills – for some, it was the first time using a computer.

“Sounds the call to come together, And united we shall stand” – South African national anthem


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