Make like Madiba

Tata Madiba turns 92 on Sunday, and will hopefully enjoy a long lie-in, a lazy brunch, and an afternoon with his grandchildren. Having given 67 years of his life to build a better world, he deserves it. But as for you and me, here are some suggestions for how to spend 67 minutes making a difference … and still enjoy that lie-in.

Did you know that more than 90% of South African schools do not have a functional library? Help list of every SPCA in South Africa, with contact details.

Cheesekids are “a couple of young folk doing what we can to make our world better”. They have organised 10 Mandela Day activities around Gauteng. Register for your preferred activity. The online registration deadline is noon on July 15. You will then receive an email from Cheesekids, with further logistical information. But the Mail & Guardian has established that registered participants will congregate from 8-9am on Sunday at Innesfree Park, Sandton. A R67 registration fee, payable on the day, gets you a Mandela Day shirt, a drink and a place on a shuttle to your chosen activity. The first shuttle to the activities departs from Innesfree Park at 9am.

Spend time with someone from the most vulnerable sectors of society — the very young, the very old, or the very sick — and take along some goodies to share. Find an orphanage, an old age home, or a hospice in your area. Try this handy

The smallest act
If you’re still stuck for ideas, Nelson Mandela Foundation spokesperson Sello Hatang has some advice. “Keep your activity as simple as possible,” he says, “because even the smallest act can make a big difference”.

For example, you could do something as simple as making friends with someone from a different cultural background. Mandela is renowned a nation-builder, after all. The Super 14 finals in Soweto and the Soccer World Cup showed how it’s done.

We all have skills which we use every day, often taking them for granted. Use yours to uplift someone else. For example, you could help someone find a job by putting together a simple CV and cover letter, and printing several copies out for them.

Or get some friends together, and clean up your street, neighbourhood, park, sports ground, river or beach. Celebrate with a braai afterwards.

But, whatever you decide to do on Sunday, do it for Madiba.

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