On Mandela Day, we were asked to remember Mandela and celebrate his memory by giving 67 minutes of our day to help others by doing an act of good. But many people do not actually know the extent of good that Nelson Mandela did during his life, whether it was during his imprisonment, in office or once he was retired. We would like to share with you some of the inspirational ways he helped South Africa, as well as the rest of the world.
- He led by example, showing how it is possible to forgive one’s enemies. He showed this while creating a new South Africa, dismantling Apartheid and keeping the peace amongst the people while tackling racism, poverty and inequality.
- He established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, providing a safe place to investigate past human rights abuses, avoiding civil war and bloodshed.
- He established measures to combat poverty and expand healthcare services.
- He became a global symbol of peacemaking, after he won the Nobel Peace Prize with F.W. De Klerk.
- He used sports to bring the racially divided country together. Mandela used the country’s love for rugby as a way to unite blacks and whites in the racially divided country.
- He maintained his dignity and humour, even through the bad times of his life and became a beacon of hope.
- He established the Commission for Gender Equality, as he wanted to create a “society free from gender oppression and all forms of inequality”.
- He created the Nelson Mandela Foundation, focusing their work towards combating poverty and HIV/AIDS. He admitted that he did not address the HIV/AIDS crisis when he was president, so he created the 46664 organisation to promote awareness and prevention.
- Mandela worked with the unions, such as COSATU, to boost employment opportunities, reducing unemployment rates and poverty.
- He aided the South African Reserve Bank in slashing inflation by more than 7% in 5 years.
Nelson Mandela said, “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead”. So what difference will you make in someone’s life?