Johannesburg, 14 July 2017 - Mandela Day is fast approaching and many South Africans are getting an early start on their public service contributions.
JOHANNESBURG - Every year on 18 July, late president Nelson Mandela's birthday, various charity initiatives occur around the world in honour of his memory.
This years Mandela Day initiatives have started building up steam, with people being urged to spend 67 minutes in the service of others,
For the past few years, South Africans from all walks of life have been responding to that call, in various ways.
[email protected] DEMI LEIGH NEL-PETERS, Miss South Africa Demi Leigh Nel-Peters said, “To me Nelson Mandela is exactly like this. Hundreds-of-thousands of people coming together to help feed our nation.”
[email protected] MATTHEW BOOTH, Former Bafana Bafana Star Matthew Booth said, “The cause is a noble one, in fact even some kids in the urban centres do go to school without food so it’s an important cause today.”
*View the video above for more on Mandela Day initiatives
The Trek for Mandela team started its ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro on Friday morning. The team hopes to summit Kilimanjaro on Madiba’s birthday on Tuesday.
The annual trek aims to to create awareness and raise funds for the Caring4Girls programme, which supplies sanitary pads for underprivileged schoolgirls.
The team said that they're all thinking of Gugu Zulu as they embark on their mission.
The racing car driver died while climbing Kilimanjaro in July last year.
His wife Letshego, who was part of last year's trek, is taking part again this year in honour of her late husband.
eNCA’s Michael Marillier, who is also taking part in the expedition, said, "Letshego Zulu is doing fantastically well. True inspiration to other climbers and issued a thank you for the rest of SA for support.
"It’s tough. You cannot take anything for granted on this mountain, that's what our team lead keep telling us. One day at a time and one step at a time and that's going to take you on top of the mountain."
Rise Against Hunger
Nelson Mandela's grandson, Mandla is supporting the global relief organisation, Rise Against Hunger.
He said millions of disadvantaged children will benefit from the project's food parcel drive.
"This initiative today is to ensure that we pack in the next 2 days about a million food parcels which will be distributed around South Africa and the SADC region," said Mandela.
"We had an opportunity to go out to Alexandra, where we visited a creche and distributed food to the kids there which will last them for 6 months. They're able to get a good proper meal a day for five days a week. And this initiative has been widely embraced and supported."
Bikers for Nelson Mandela Day
A Soweto motorcycle club plans to visit a children's home this weekend in honour of Nelson Mandela Day.
The struggle icon's former secretary, Zelda la Grange, started Bikers for Nelson Mandela Day in 2010.
Alfred Matamela of the Soweto Motorbike School (SMS) said, "Bikers will be doing it for Madiba. The Soweto Motorbike School along with other bikers, will be riding to Soweto to an identified NGO, 'Hope for the Helpless', where we will be spending the 67 minutes of Mandela Day.
"We are not going there empty handed. We've approached sponsors, Goldwagen Yamaha to assist. There are some SMS members who volunteered cash to buy groceries for the kids. Then come tomorrow, the whole Soweto will come to a standstill when 300 bikes roll into the township."