A call has been made on the world to sing a special Happy Birthday song for former President Nelson Mandela who celebrates his 94th birthday on July 18.
The day has been declared “InternationalnMandela Day”. A call has been made on people around the globe to volunteer 67nminutes of their time for community service.
Lead SA, the Department of Basic Education andnthe Nelson Mandela Foundation supported by the Shout Foundation, Proudly SouthnAfrican and Brand SA have partnered to get the world to sing the song and do 67nminutes of service.
“The countdown to International Mandela Day hasnstarted – there is one month to go. The words ‘Mandela, Madiba and Tata’ unitenour nation and the world.
“We have been called to action by our formernPresident, our interactional icon, our elder statesman, our hero, our leadernand the father of the nation – who has given so selflessly of himself throughnpersonal sacrifice and a profound amount of heart, compassion, reconciliationnand forgiveness,” said Lead SA’s Yusuf Abramjee, speaking at the launch of thenHappy Birthday song at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg.
“Madiba allows us to dream. He makes us believenin possibility. He undoubtedly unites us,” said Abramjee.
Last year, Lead SA and the Department of BasicnEducation together with the Nelson Mandela Foundation united the voices ofnSouth Africa to sing Happy Birthday to Madiba on July 18. Millions of schoolnchildren and ordinary South Africans made this possible.
“This year we decided to go even bigger,” said Abramjee.
Panyaza Lesufi of the Department of BasicnEducation, said: “We are not only appealing to millions of people around thenworld to do 67 minutes of community service on July 18 – but also to show hownmuch we love Tata by singing a very special Happy Birthday song to him.”
On Tuesday, 29 May, people gathered in theirnthousands at Nelson Mandela Square in Johannesburg to record the song.
Lead SA’s Terry Volkwyn said the song is a callnto action. “Madiba’s legacy is one of active citizenship.
“Stand up,ndo the right thing and make a difference. Despite the many challenges that facenSouth Africa, its citizens are a vibrant nation that show us time and timenagain that the spirit of Ubuntu is alive and well.
“There is no better tribute we can pay to Madiba’snlegacy than developing our nation into an active civil society that selflesslynrolls up its sleeves and makes a difference,” said Volkwyn.
“Whatever you do – whether it’s painting thenwalls of a crèche, reading to an elderly person or picking up litter – no actnof volunteerism is too big or too small. It all makes a difference!
“Nelson Mandela has given us so much to aspirento and has empowered us with the tools and spirit to be the foot-soldiers ofnhis proud legacy,” Volkwyn added.
Abramjee said: “Whether you at home, in yourncar, in the street, in a factory or office or at school at 8am on July 18, takena minute and sing the special Happy Birthday song.
“But most of all it is about calling each andnevery citizen to action. Do your 67 minutes of community service on MandelanDay. In fact, do more if you can – make EVERY day a Mandela Day,” he added.
The partners said over the next month a numbernof plans have been put in place to rally the nation.
The song released today also features a stringnof prominent artists and musicians. It is going viral.
Vodacom has donated their infrastructure tonprovide a platform for citizens to download elements of the song.
You can download the special happy birthdaynsong by SMSing the word MADIBA to 44009. A return SMS will send you the link tondownload the audio. Standard VAS rates and data costs apply.
The video of the recording is also available onnYou Tube. Search for “Sing for Madiba.”
One can also go to www.singformadiba.co.za tondownload the video and audio.
Spread the song far and wide by all meansnpossible: e-mail it, share it on Facebook, Twitter and all other social medianplatforms.
The official hash-tag for the initiative isn#Sing4Madiba and we encourage everyone to use it from today onwards. *Let us sharenwith the world what each of us is doing.
Abramjee said: “We are exploring thenpossibility of breaking a social media world record. We want to mobilise thenSouth Africans and indeed the world to sing and pledge their 67 minutes onnMandela Day.”
SA Rugby and the Springboks together withnthousands of spectators will sing Happy Birthday to Madiba at the test match innPort Elizabeth on Saturday, during halftime.
Sport Minister, Fikile Mbalula and SARU’snvice-president, Mark Alexandra will join in the singing.
Football fans will also be getting involved andnwill be able to participate. Fans will sing Happy Birthday to Madiba ahead ofnmatches on the Mandela Day 18 July and also on Saturday 21 July in Durban andnCape Town respectively when local teams take on Manchester United.
Scores of organisations and companies arensupporting the initiative. Some of them are The British High Commission andnother embassies, the JSE, WITS University, Tsogo Sun an AON SA. They will benmobilising to sing Happy Birthday on the Day also. Various governmentndepartments have pledged their support.
Another massive boost for the initiative isnMultichoice who has come on board and have pledged to play the recording on allntheir channels at 8am on Mandela Day.
“This is in the true spirit of doing it for ourncountry and honouring Madiba. Thank you Imtiaz Patel, the CEO of Multichoicenand his team. Supersport has been on board from day one,” said Abramjee.
Lead SA and its partners have invitedncompanies, universities, NGOs, government departments and individuals tonjoin-in and “have our voices heard not only in South Africa but across thenglobe.”
They have also invited foreign representativesnin our countries to assist in getting 67+ countries, or 94+ countries, to joinnthe initiative and sing Happy Birthday to Madiba at 8am – their local time andnalso to get their nationals to do 67 minutes of community service.
“In addition to the support from the localnmedia, we calling on the foreign media to also embrace our call to action.nLet’s put aside our differences, our competition and our pride and unite,”nappealed Abramjee.
The Department of Basic Education will againnhave more than 12-million children and teachers’ voices. They have also engagednwith other government departments and corporate South Africa to come on boardnand support the campaign including the 94+ school adoption project.
“Without your voices and indeed your hands wenwill not be able to achieve our goal in getting the nation to sing HappynBirthday to Tata and do our 67 minutes of community service.
“Let’s make his 94th birthday, the magic ofnlegends and an enduring memory. We want to give him his best birthday presentnever-The love of the world,” added Lead SA.
*Words of the song:
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday Dear Madiba,
Happy Birthday to you.
We love you Tata,
We love you Tata,
We love you Dear Madiba,
Happy Birthday to you.
* Follow Gadget on Twitter onn@gadgetza
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