Mandela refuted the idea of making his birthday a public holiday and instead wanted people to change lives of the less privileged.
PIC: Even after he is gone, Mandela's legacy still lives. South Africa and the world at large will be celebrating his 100 birthday. (AFP)
KAMPALA - If Nelson Mandela was still alive, he would be turning 100 years this Wednesday.
Even after he is gone, the legacy of the great South African icon still lives.
Born on July 18, 1918, Mandela; commonly referred to as Madiba was a nonviolence anti-apartheid activist, politician and philanthropist who became South Africa’s first black president from 1994 to 1999.
Based on this background, the South African High Commission in Uganda has embarked on a series of activities to celebrate his 100 birthday.
The activities, whose proceeds will be dedicated to charity work include planting of trees, blood donation drives, refurbishing selected primary schools, a charity concert by Yvonne Chaka Chaka and a family day out organised by the Rotary club of Kampala Ssese Islands.
“We cannot celebrate Mandela at a day’s event which is why we plan to have activities running throughout the year with the purpose of making a difference just like Madiba did,” said Prof. Solly Mollo Lekoa, the South African High Commissioner in Uganda.
Lekoa who was speaking to journalists at the Mandela National Stadium in Namboole on Monday explained that Mandela refuted the idea of making his birthday a public holiday and instead wanted people to change lives of the less privileged.
He also revealed that a statue of Mandela, situated outside the stadium will be launched later in the year by both President Yoweri Museveni and South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa.
Former US president Barrack Obama who is currently on a visit in Kenya, is expected to grace Nelson Mandela’s birthday celebrations in South Africa.
Obama will set the tone for the celebrations with a speech in Johannesburg today on Tuesday that aides say will be his most important public address since leaving the White House in 2017.
When eulogizing Mandela at his funeral in 2013, Obama stated, “Mandela makes me want to be a better man” and hailed him as “the last great liberator of the 20th century.”
Mandela, who died in 2013, remains a global icon for his long fight against white-minority rule and for his message of peace and reconciliation when he was released after 27 years in prison.
His birthday on July 18 is marked annually around the world and the Nelson Mandela Foundation called this year for people to "take action and inspire change" in Mandela's name.