“Let there be justice for all. Let there be peace for all. Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.” - Former president Nelson Mandela during his inauguration address at the Union Buildings, Pretoria, on 10 May 1994.
To celebrate former president Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday on Wednesday, the 18th of July 2012, Wits University celebrated Mandela Day with 94 minutes, instead of 67 minutes, in support of his ideals of a better live for all. Click here to see photographs of the event.
The Wits community gathered at the Wits Origins Centre on the East Campus at 13:15 on Mandela Day where an art exhibition, Mandela @ 94, is also currently on show.
The heavenly trio Thapelo Lekoane, Kaz-Leigh Straighfill and Zarcia Zacheus of the up-and-coming girl band, Luwe, led Witsies in singing the special Happy Birthday-song to Madiba. To learn the song, click here
Luwe also gave a short performance. From 13:30 to 15:04, Witsies had their photograph taken with Luwe, which the group published on their Facebook page, while others tucked into a Mandela 94-cupcake for R10. The proceeds are going towards the Wits Paediatric Fund.
Witsies are asked to donate blankets and non-perishable foods in support of Operation Snowball, The Star newspaper’s initiative to help the needy this winter. You can also buy a tree to be planted at the Mandela Peace Park in Mamelodi and the proceeds will go towards supporting the JNF Walter Sisulu Environmental Centre.
The Origins Centre also held a free walkabout through the Mandela @ 94-exhibition that consists of art works created by a diversity of artists from various cultural backgrounds and curated by Natalie Knight, curator of the University’s West Campus art collection. Read more about the exhibition here
Madiba’s student days at Wits celebrated
The Wits Archives in collaboration with Wits Volunteer Programme and the SRC are hosting an exhibition in the Senate House Concourse on the East Campus to commemorate Mandela’s time as a student at Wits. Visitors can also write their comments and opinions about Mandela Day in a journal. The exhibition will run on weekdays between 08:00 to 16:00 from the 16th to the 27th of July 2012. Enquiries: Kgomotso.Mothate@wits.ac.za or (011) 717-1251/3.
Support Madiba’s love for children by helping the Wits Paediatric Fund
The Wits Paediatric Fund is the fundraising arm of the Department of Paediatrics in the Wits Medical School. Under the auspices of the Wits Foundation, the Fund seeks financial support for essential equipment, supplementary medical and therapeutic staff, professional development training, and materials for the renovation of wards at the three Wits teaching hospitals: Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital; the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital; and the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital. The sole aim of the Fund is to improve public health care. For more information see http://www.witspaediatricfund.org.za/ or to make a secure donation on line go to http://www.witsfoundation.co.za/givepaed.asp, or call Lebogang.firstname.lastname@example.org on (011) 484 9642.
Pledge your silent support
The Centre for Deaf Studies is calling on all Witsies to pledge your “silent” Mandela Day support on the Centre’s Facebook page here. The Centre also wants you to experience what it is like for people who are born deaf by spending your 67 minutes in complete silence with friends or colleagues. This should involve no chatting and no listening to the radio. Just complete silence.
DOING YOUR BIT FOR SCHOOLS ON MANDELA DAY:
For more information on these events, please email at Shirona.Patel@wits.ac.za or call (011) 7171-1019 or 083 362 1995.
Paint a pre-school
The Wits School of Human and Community Development will be painting the classrooms of the Ehlathini pre-school in Soweto as part of its 67 minutes of community service between 09:30 and 14:00 on Mandela Day. Enquiries: Joseph.Seabi@wits.ac.za
Wits90/The Star/Primedia in LeadSA project
As part of Wits90, Witsies can get involved in The Star newspaper initiative that has adopted two schools in Soweto as a LeadSA project in celebration of Mandela Day.
They have teamed up with Primedia and two radio presenters, Redi Direko and Jenny Crwys Williams will be broadcasting their shows on TalkRadio 702 live from the Batsogile and Tshebedisano primary schools where staff from the three organisations will assist in the much-needed refurbishment of the schools. On the day, learners would have to be kept occupied while the painting and fixing of the schools done, and Wits staff, students and volunteers can assist by interacting with the kids through arts and craft and sports.
Trees planted to celebrate Shandukani Centre opening and Mandela Day
The Shandukani Maternal and Child Health Centre in Hillbrow recently opened its doors. It is a pioneering public-private partnership between the Wits Reproductive Health & HIV Institute (WRHI), Gauteng Department of Health, Vodacom, Altron and Altech. As part of the launch, each guest at the handover event received a tree donated to be planted in Region F of the City of Johannesburg. 94 of the fruit trees will be planted at South Hills Secondary and Kenilworth Junior Secondary schools on Mandela Day.
Caring for refugees’ children
The Wits Language School is also doing its bit for Mandela Day. The School is supporting a charity called Lefika la Phodiso, that cares for children of refugees. They are collecting food, clothes and blankets to hand-over and together with students will plant a garden and host a party for the children on Mandela Day. For more information email Jane.Meenehan@wits.ac.za
Help crime survivors
The Star will also be revamping the Victim Support Unit at the Johannesburg Central Police Station and will need help on Mandela Day.