By Nicole Brewer
It has been an incredible journey thus far residing in Cape Town, South Africa over the past few weeks. It’s almost been an entire month that I’ve been here and it flew by at the blink of an eye! Just a couple of weeks ago I had the honor of visiting Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison. It is now a UNESCO world heritage site due to it’s long standing in history as a prison that held political prisoners.
Well just a week after visiting there, the official Nelson Mandela Day as declared by the United Nations on July 18th, which is his birthday, embarked upon us and to say it was amazing to be in Cape Town on this day is an understatement! It was a difficult choice to choose just which events to partake in as various organizations throughout the country presented the opportunity to do a charitable act to commemorate Mandela for 67 minutes. As the Mandela Day campaign states,
“Mr Mandela has spent 67 years making the world a better place. We’re asking you for 67 minutes.”
I chose to attend an event at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town where Desmond Tutu spoke at to dedicate a school container to local children in coordination with the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation. I donated blankets and sheets, as they were collecting these items and books to give to those in need. It was a distinct honor to be at one point within shoulder’s length of such a remarkable man and social rights activist who held such a great role during the apartheid regime, on Mandela Day at that! He spoke of recent tragedies such as Gaza, the downed plane in Malaysia and of course Mandela. Feel free to check out the footage I took below.
Desmond Tutu speech at V & A Waterfront, Cape Town
After being on cloud 9 from hearing such a legend as Tutu speak in person, I managed to venture to the Mandela Rhodes Place building in order to donate and partake in a knit-a-ton that was taking place for a children’s cancer foundation. Everyone was at such peace and joy, knitting to their hearts’ content over coffee and cookies.
It was a great way to enjoy reading the quotes and sayings of Mandela, the humanitarian, father and great leader of South Africa, while I not only trot to but reside in Cape Town for my own studies in International Humanitarian Action. My heart was filled on this beautiful day. So I ask you Globe-Trotters, how Did You spend your Nelson Mandela Day? Check out photos of Tutu and more. Also, be sure to leave a comment below thanks! Happy globe-trotting ;-).