In honour of a great man

IT IS time to honour a man who is arguably our greatest icon. Former President Nelson Mandela has asked the nation and the world at large to remember the poor, sick and jobless on his birthday.

This illustrates Madiba's love for his country and he has asked us to share that love. He did not ask for a parade or a statue. He did not ask for a public holiday.

This is the man who spent the better part of his life fighting for the freedom of all South Africans. He symbolises our aspirations for the future. Let us give him a splendid birthday present as he turns 92. It is also a good way to foster unity among our communities.

The best way to honour Madiba and to acknowledge his contribution to our democracy and freedom is to give 67 minutes of our time to a worthy cause. Any worthy cause.

Ours is a country of extremes. We have very rich people and those who have nothing. Those who have nothing often do not have hope.

They are mired in a never-ending spiral of poverty and degradation. The promised freedom and prosperity has not touched their lives. Their preoccupation with the search for the basic necessities of life often cuts them off from the majority.

They cannot and do not add to the national dream of development and greatness.

The 67 minutes campaign will help turn this around. It will remind us all that we are all South Africans, that we are bound together by history as well as ubuntu.

Various campaigns have been launched to coax people to engage in community work. They failed because they were not pinned on any tangible goal.

The 67 minutes is clearly a time to meet, work and laugh together for a better South Africa. Everyone, rich or poor, can do a good deed for our beloved Tata.