Let’s Celebrate His Legacy: Nelson Mandela International Day
by Lou-Ann Jordan Jul 18, 2022
Born Rolihlahla Mandela, South Africa’s first democratically elected President, captured hearts and inspired millions worldwide. Nelson Mandela lived a life of courage, devotion, and sacrifice as he fought for freedom, equality, and justice. A human rights lawyer and an international peacemaker, many are his achievements. He is most known for his peaceful struggle to dismantle South Africa’s apartheid system, for which he won the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize.
Although his work as a political activist resulted in 27 years of imprisonment, it ultimately brought about what he sought – equal rights for black and white South Africans. With his release in 1992, Mandela’s dedication to bettering black South Africans’ living conditions and the end of apartheid continued.
During South Africa’s 1991 general elections something novel took place; all races were allowed to vote. That year, South Africans voted Nelson Mandela, the African National Congress (ANC) leader, as President.
In 2009, in honour of his humanitarian work and commitment to achieving change peaceably, the United Nations declared 18 July Nelson Mandela International Day. The UN’s recognition of the former President acknowledges his significant contributions to promoting global peace and democracy.
Since then, Nelson Mandela’s legacy has been commemorated on 18 July as people everywhere are reminded to be the change in their environment. This year, you can adopt the spirit of Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela and promote a culture of peace, equality, and social justice in your communities. However, more than for a day, let it be your life lifestyle.
Here are several Nelson Mandela quotes to inspire you.
“One of the most difficult things is not to change society – but to change yourself.”
“A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.”
“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.”
“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”
“There is no passion to be found playing small—in settling for a life that is less than the one you’re capable of living.”
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
Let us celebrate his legacy this 18 July. Happy Nelson Mandela International Day!
Sources: Goalcast, Nelson Mandela Foundation and the United Nations.