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Wed, 18 Jul 2018
Mandela Day – How did it all start?

Mandela Day is an annual call to action for citizens, South African and globally, to donate 67 minutes of their time to a charity, good cause or improving your community/society in a meaningful way. Nelson Mandela International Day (or Mandela Day) the annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, is celebrated each year on 18 July, Mandela’s birthday. The day was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009, with the first UN Mandela Day held on 18 July 2010. However, other groups began celebrating Mandela Day on 18 July 2009. On 27 April 2009, the 46664 concerts and the Nelson Mandela Foundation invited the global community to join them in support of an official Mandela Day. Mandela Day is not meant as a public holiday, but as a day to honour the legacy of Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s former President, and his values, through volunteering and community service.

The South African activist and former president Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) helped bring an end to apartheid and has been a global advocate for human rights. A member of the African National Congress party beginning in the 1940s, he was a leader of both peaceful protests and armed resistance against the white minority’s oppressive regime in a racially divided South Africa.

His actions landed him in prison for nearly three decades and made him the face of the antiapartheid movement both within his country and internationally. Released in 1990, he participated in the eradication of apartheid and in 1994 became the first black president of South Africa, forming a multi-ethnic government to oversee the country’s transition. after retiring from politics in 1999, he remained a devoted champion for peace and social justice in his own nation and around the world.

By the time of his death, Mandela had come to be widely considered “the father of the nation” within South Africa. He is also seen as “the national liberator, the saviour, its Washington and Lincoln rolled into one”. Throughout his life, Mandela had also faced criticism. Margaret Thatcher attracted international attention for describing the ANC as “a typical terrorist organization” in 1987. She later made favours to release Mandela from prison. Mandela has also been criticized for his friendship with political leaders such as Fidel Castro, Muammar Gaddafi, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, and Suharto.

Mandela Day is a global call to action that celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world, the ability to make an impact. The Mandela Day campaign message is: “Nelson Mandela has fought for social justice for 67 years. We’re asking you to start with 67 minutes.” “We would be honoured if such a day can serve to bring together people around the world to fight poverty and promote peace, reconciliation and cultural diversity,” according to a statement issued on Mandela’s behalf. To mark the first global celebration of Mandela Day on 18 July 2009, Mandela’s 91st birthday, a series of educational, art exhibit, fund-raising and volunteer events leading up to a concert at Radio City Music Hall on 18 July were organised [...]

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Wed, 18 Jul 2018

The Nelson Mandela foundation’s Luzuko Koti said Obama‚ with his global reach‚ was the ideal speaker to raise uncomfortable questions‚ provoke dialogue and draw attention to values that today were under threat.

“One of the things we are dealing with is captured democracies that don’t work for the poor‚ that don’t work for people in countries that are underdeveloped‚ where people are made to be rubber stampers of decisions that are made elsewhere. We wanted someone who is going to interrogate that‚” he explained.

The address will be one of Obama’s most high-profile speeches since leaving office. He is also expected to stimulate reflection.

Obama’s foreign policy has been heavily criticised while locally‚ Mandela’s legacy has been questioned over “settling” for political power while “failing” to shift economic power to the people.

“Obama is not a perfect leader‚ he doesn’t have a perfect legacy‚ in fact his own legacy is as contested as that of Madiba. People question what he did‚ the decisions he took‚ and we are a platform that gives people the opportunity to interrogate these legacies‚ not people who are going to gloss over issues. That is why we wanted him to come here‚” Koti said.

However‚ Koti said it was important for the foundation to bring a person who was not only inspired by Madiba’s legacy personally but who had also modelled their own leadership after Madiba.

“Like Madiba‚ he is inspired by the issue of future leaders‚ emerging leadership‚ young people‚” he added.

Hence‚ during his visit‚ Obama will launch his foundation’s leadership programme‚ which is made up of 200 young Africans chosen from nearly 10‚000 applications from 44 countries across the continent.

Previous speakers include former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan‚ former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf‚ former South African president Thabo Mbeki‚ Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former Irish president and philanthropist Mary Robinson.

The lecture will take place at Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg and is expected to be attended by 15‚000 people.


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Tue, 17 Jul 2018

Durban – Student from the Durban University of Technology dominated the second round of judging at the Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award, presented by Durban Fashion Fair when they snatched nine of the ten finalist berths at a glitzy evening of fashion at Greyville Racecourse on Tuesday evening.

Pietermaritzburg student designer Nosipho Ntuli staved off what could have been a DUT clean-sweep by securing a top ten spot, but the judges conceded afterwards that it had been very tough to separate the top ten from the thirty semi-finalists.

Judges Terrence Bray, Kathrin Kidger, Sindi Shangase, Zama Mathe and Derrick Mhlongo deliberated for some time before settling on the top ten and concluded that the overall quality of the entries made for a long deliberation over the top 10.

“What was notable was that the standard of entries was consistently high, which makes it tougher for the judges,”’ said Bray.

“In line with where fashion is going, the designs were very individual and very well considered and thoughtful,” he added. “The judges tended to favour ideas and designs that we have never seen before. That’s the nature of the competition.”

Bray said that many of the most striking designs were menswear.

“I will be very surprised if we don’t see a menswear winner from this year’s finalists. They were head-and-shoulders above the ladies wear,” said Bray.

“We were all pleasantly surprised. The menswear was creatively very strong and very polished.

“There will be a new panel of judges from here, and who knows, they may see things differently!” he added.

The ten finalists go through to the two evenings of high fashion at the Vodacom Durban July Fashion Showcase at Greyville Racecourse on Thursday and Friday evenings, where another panel of expert judges will study the top ten student designers’ work and decide on the top three, which will only be revealed on the day of the Vodacom Durban July, Saturday 7 July.

Tickets are still available for the two Vodacom Durban July Fashion Showcase shows on Thursday and Friday, Online bookings are through the event website.

The ten finalists are Nosipho Ntuli (Pietermaritzburg School of Fashion), Chané Lange, Siphiwo Mkhwanazi, Nhlosenhle Cele, Tebogo Mokgope, Andile Nsele, Minenhle Memela, Mhlengi Mngoma, Georgina Brink, Gracious Lubisi (Durban University of Technology)



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