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all eyes on a world icon

By Katlego Moeng | Jul 16, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

WHEN Nelson Mandela's golf cart rolled into Soccer City last Sunday before the World Cup final, those gathered, and about 500million people watching worldwide, roared in appreciation.

The love and respect for Madiba was unmistakable. This weekend, parties throughout the world get under way to honour his 92nd birthday on July 18.

While Madiba will spend his birthday on Sunday relaxing at home in Houghton, Johannesburg, with his family, the world will be partying.

Mandela's grandson Zwelivelile said 95 children from his grandfather's village in Mvezo and the nearby town of Qunu in Eastern Cape would be flown to Johannesburg to celebrate with him.

ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga said Mandela's main birthday celebrations would take place in Mvezo, presided over by President Jacob Zuma.

In Johannesburg, Candice Clark and her mother Bridget are setting an example of how people can contribute to Mandela Day. They will take 10 disadvantaged children to their farm and teach them life skills.

Said Bridget: "We would like to share the gifts we have been blessed with - our horses, equipment and knowledge - with several children who may never get the chance to experience the awe-inspiring relationship with a horse."

l Knit-a-Square for the Needy is a Mandela Day initiative organised by Soweto-born Nqobile Mahlangu, 19.

The first-year University of Johannesburg student has organised women to contribute 67 minutes of their time by joining the squares to make blankets for the needy and those affected by HIV and Aids.

l The Nelson Mandela Children's Fund will visit the Salvation Army Strathyre Girls Home in Kensington to paint the roof, rooms, clean, fix broken doors and do gardening. They will also visit the Orlando Children's Home.

l SA Tourism in Johannesburg will send 95 staffers today to cook lunch for pupils at Diepsloot's Rabasotho Combined School and hand over 300 stationery packs.

l Gauteng MEC for agriculture Nandi Mayathula-Khoza and her department will help in developing food gardens to complement the present feeding schemes at schools in Evaton, plant trees and clean up.

Education MEC Barbara Creecy will be in Winterveldt for a fun run at Thabo Mbeki Sports Complex. She will proceed to Ema Primary School .

l Salga in Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and North West have programmes lined up - from handing over playground equipment, cleaning the cemetery to visiting orphanages.

l Popcru will spend the day fixing up Mothutlung police station near Ga-Rankuwa in Pretoria.

l A lot of activities are also lined-up in Cape Town for Mandela Day festivities.


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