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May 16, 2021
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18 July, International Nelson Mandela Day: Events organized by South Africa’s Embassy in Romania

Every year on 18 July – Nelson Mandela’s birthday – people around the world devote 67 minutes of their time to helping others.  67 Minutes are in line with the 67 years  Nelson Mandela devoted to the service of humanity.

18 July has been declared “International Nelson Mandela Day” by the UN General Assembly in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to changing the world for the better. The world recognized Nelson Mandela’s values and his dedication to the service of humanity in the fields of conflict settlement, race relations, promotion and protection of human rights, reconciliation, gender equality, rights of children and other vulnerable groups, as well as upliftment of the poor and underdeveloped communities and struggle for democracy.

Nelson Mandela saw himself first and foremost as a servant of the South Africa’s people to whom he owed a duty and whom he led by example. “We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference”, Nelson Mandela emphasised. Mandela Day is a global call to action and celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world, the ability to make a difference.

“The first thing to mention about Nelson Mandela is, in my view, a very outstanding and different kind of leadership: the humility in his value system, the commitment not for his own benefit, but for everybody else’s, his commitment to human rights, to the respect of an individual, to individual’s dignity irrespective of that person’s status in society. I think it is something that is lacking in many of us that question of humility, recognition and solidarity. In terms of what he directly contributed then, it is the anti-apartheid struggle that straddles from his youth to the time when he died. That is what he brought: liberation in our country. Mandela’s system of values was built on UBUNTU concept: it means a whole embodiment of values that respect the others, respect the dignity, that value your life, that value you as a human being. Mandela was an embodiment of humility, service and commitment.”, said Mrs. Thenjiwe Mtintso, Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa to Romania, according to a press statement.

In celebration of the event, Mrs. Thenjiwe Mtintso will unveil Nelson Mandela bust in Oradea, in the presence of Mayor Ilie Bolojan and local authorities. In Cluj-Napoca, the Ambassador will unveil a “freedom wall” memorial, assisted by Mr. Emil Boc, Mayor of Cluj, and will explain Mandela legacy and values. For every freedom message written on the wall, the Romanian-South African Business Association (ROSABA) will sponsor a sum of money for refurbishment of two cancer hospitals in Cluj. The event will be followed by a party at Cluj Casino Central Park. Entrance will be free, but donations will be welcome.

In Bucharest, the South African Mission will join the children of the humanitarian aid foundation The Door Romania in Mogosoaia by playing soccer, Mr Mark Oostendorp from Ikhaya Drum teaching them to do percussion and painting a house of a poor family in the nearby community with paint sponsored by Change for Life: Mandela Association. The events will be concluded with the enjoyment of South African vetkoek (sweet cakes) and the Embassy staff cleaning the kitchen.


Nelson Mandela – famous quotes:


‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’


‘The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.’


‘For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others’.


‘There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living’.


‘As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison’.


‘Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings’.


‘No one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens but its lowest ones’.


‘We ask ourselves: Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?’


‘We owe our children – the most vulnerable citizens in any society – a life free from violence and fear’.

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