TAKE2: The disappearance of Madiba Magic?
Is the obsession with all things Madiba in South Africa not as strong as it once was?
As Nelson Mandela’s 91st birthday approaches, Mandela Day is gaining momentum in various countries worldwide. On Saturday, people around the world are being encouraged to spend 67 minutes lending a helping hand in their communities in honour of the 67 years that Madiba has dedicated to humanity.
So it is only natural to ask: “What are you doing for your 67 minutes on Mandela Day?”
Surprisingly, for some South Africans Mandela Day is something of a non-event owing to a lack of inspiration, interest or knowledge about the day. This makes one wonder, where has the spirit of Madiba Magic gone?#707070 solid; width: 583px; padding: 5px; margin-bottom: 10px;”>
Alice Madlopha, is an actress and belongs to a ‘club of old ladies” from South Hills who lend a helping hand in their community. She has been invited to an event in Ekurleni on Mandela Day to celebrate the good work her ‘club of old ladies” have done for their community.
(Alexandra Turner, M&G)
After interviewing people in Johannesburg this week, it became apparent that there was not much excitement over Mandela Day. The majority of interviewees responded to the words “Mandela Day” with comments such as “Mandela Day? Is that a new public holiday?”
Only 6% of the people interviewed had plans to participate in Mandela Day; many were unaware that the day even existed. This statistic seems strange, as South Africa is a country that has a desperate need for
people to get involved in their communities in order to improve the quality of living for many of the disadvantaged.
Some schoolchildren and university students interviewed gave similar responses. Many of the students either knew very little about the day, or were not doing anything owing to exams, school holidays or because their school had not really planned anything.
Have times have changed since the early days of democracy, where doing something in honour of Madiba, his values and his birthdays was seen
as something new and exciting? Could the country be suffering from Mandela burnout?
Usually, anything in honour of Mandela is seen as a big event in South Africa, such as the 46664 concerts, yet Mandela Day has not had the same response.
What is different this time? Could it be that South Africans do not want to get their hands dirty for 67 minutes this weekend? Or can the South African public’s lack of interest and inspiration be blamed on a lack of advertising and publicity?