67 minutes for Mandela

67 minutes for Mandela

67 Minutes for Mandela: What you can do even during the pandemic

In 67 Minutes for Mandela, South Africans and people across the world volunteer 67 minutes, or more, on 18 July to help others.

67 minutes for Mandela

67 minutes for Mandela

67 Minutes for Mandela aims to fight poverty, educate, clean, provide shelter or in general contribute towards the health and welfare of others. It is part of being an active citizen.

However, as the country is still on lockdown level 3, the 2020 Nelson Mandela Day on Saturday July 18 will be slightly different as people are trying to curb the spread of the coronavirus by staying at home.

This year, for example, you will not visit a hospital with sandwiches, or teach schoolchildren rugby. However, there are other options to help, such as donating food to needy communities.

Where did 67 Minutes for Mandela come from?

Why 67 minutes? You may find yourself asking this question in anticipation of July 18, Mandela Day.

During his 90th birthday celebrations in London’s Hyde Park on this day, Mandela said he would be honoured if such a day could bring together people around the world. He hoped they would unite to fight poverty as well as promote peace and reconciliation.

The idea is that you give one minute of your time or effort for every year of Mandela’s public service.

67 minutes for Mandela
South Africa’s late President Nelson Mandela

He himself had been making an imprint on the world for 67 years, beginning in 1942 when he first started to campaign for the human rights of every South African. His life has been, and continues to be, an inspiration to the world.

Madiba magic

One of the greatest abilities Nelson Mandela had was using sports as a tool to break down barriers and unite a divided South Africa. He as sportsman – an amateur boxer and soccer player – in his early life and saw the potential sport had to do well.

Any South African who is old enough will remember that moment when captain Francois Pienaar lifted the 1995 Rugby World Cup. It was not just about rugby, but Mandela consciously used the 1995 Rugby World Cup to knock down the last barriers of apartheid. Mandela then became a good luck charm to sports, often referred to as “the Madiba Magic”.

Madiba had a way of bringing people of all races together. Madiba magic means embracing our differences and, just as important, fulfil our dreams no matter how big they are.

Here’s how you can spend your 67 minutes during the pandemic and still maintain some social distancing.

Tips for 67 Minutes for Mandela

  • Put together stationery packs (pens, stickers, coloured paper, scissors, etc) for teachers at an under-resourced schools.
  • Donate blood or register to become an organ donor.
  • If you are a musician you can have a virtual concert and donate the proceedings to a worthy cause.
  • If you cannot donate a food parcel, you can volunteer at your nearest soup kitchen and help feed the needy.
  • Offer to mow the lawn and fix up the garden at a nursing home or hospice.
  • Offer to read stories to children.
  • If you are a student, you can help one or two Grade 12s to apply at university.