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South African Embassy urges Kuwaitis to celebrate Mandela Day
July 18, 2013, 9:21 am
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In pursuance of the spirit and purpose of the Holy Month of Ramadan Celebrations, the South African Embassy in the State of Kuwait has called on Kuwaiti’s and foreign nationals to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela’s legacy on his birthday.  
In a press statement released by the Embassy, the Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa H.E. Delarey Van Tonder highlighted the essence of Nelson Mandela Day which is celebrated globally and endorsed by the United Nations.
“The Nelson Mandela Foundation some years ago launched a global movement for good on what has become the annual Mandela Day on July 18, Nelson Mandela’s Birthday. Mandela Day seeks to honour Madiba’s leadership and humanitarian legacy by asking that each and every person   takes some time on that day and each day thereafter to do good within their respective communities. Mandela Day celebrates the potential that each individual has to transform the world and we are inspired by the example that Madiba has set for us including taking responsibility for ourselves and caring for the less fortunate individuals in society.
On Mandela Day, all that is required is an action that helps change the lives of people for the better. To ensure that our actions have lasting benefits, they should always strive to leave behind not only physical changes but also a sense of empowerment, helping to build pride among individuals and disadvantaged communities so that they can take charge of their destinies and change their circumstances. These positive and cumulative actions of people, even if it is one small step at a time, can establish a transformative momentum especially during Ramadan which is a time for individual reflection  also dedicated to peace and harmony in the World.” 
Ambassador Van Tonder pointed out that the legacy of Nelson Mandela as the Father of the South African Nation will remain forever “As spiritual leader in the fight for social justice and equality, Nelson Mandela is acknowledged internationally as one of the most significant and principled leaders of modern times. As a humanist, visionary and strategic leader Mandela was instrumental in moving South African towards democratic governance and peaceful transition. He will always be regarded as   international icon in the quest for human rights, racial equality, national reconciliation and nation building.”  
Nelson Rolihlalhla Mandela was born in Transkei, South Africa on 18 July   1918. He joined the African National Congress (ANC) and was engaged in resistance against South Africa’s apartheid policies for many years before being arrested for “terrorism” in August 1962. Mandela was incarcerated for over twenty seven years on Robben Island during which his reputation as a potent symbol of resistance in the global anti apartheid movement grew steadily. Released from prison in 1990, Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and was inaugurated as the first democratically elected president of South Africa in 1994. President Nelson Mandela visited the State of Kuwait in 1995. 
Nelson Mandela had authored three books – Long Walk to Freedom, Conversations with Myself and Nelson Mandela by Himself. His role in South Africa’s historic democratic transition was also captured in the internationally acclaimed film “Invictus”. 
Mandela’s values and philosophy are reflected appropriately in a quotation from his biography “Long Walk to Freedom”.
“I have walked the long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.  I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back to the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended”.
 
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