July 18, Mandela Day, commemerates Nelson Rolihlahla Mendela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013.) Mandela Day 2018 will mark what would have been his 100th birthday. Not meant as a public holiday, Mandela Day is way to honour the legacy of Nelson Mandela and his values of racial equality and reconciliation.
Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid political leader who, at first, eschewed violence but later was involved in a militant campaign against the white minority government. He was convicted and imprisoned in 1962 and lived for 27 years in various South African prisons, most notably Robben Island.
Meanwhile in white South Africa, Frederick Willem de Klerk became president in 1989. As a life-time government minister in South Africa, he implicitly supported the ruling apartheid administration. When he became president, however, he gave wide latitude to the anti-apartheid movementand freed political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela. He also dismantled South Africa’s nuclear weapons program.
Mandela and de Klerk jointly won the 1993 Nobel Prize for Peace.
Mandela’s prisoner number was 46664, meaning he was the 466th prisoner incarcerated in 1964. The number has become synonymous with Mandela and his ideals On 29 November 2003, the 46664 Concert was held at Green Point Stadium, Cape Town. It was hosted by Mandela and its goal was to raise awareness of the spread of HIV/AIDS in South Africa. An impressive group of international artists performed. See more here.
This is Mandela Day composed in his honor by Simple Minds.
ATTENTION TEACHERS: The official Mandela Day website has many downloadable teaching resources.