Brand SA, Kenya celebrate Mandela's life and legacy

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Brand South Africa has partnered with the South African High Commission in Kenya to commemorate International Nelson Mandela Day.

Hundreds of children in Kenya have gathered with diplomats, government officials and business leaders at the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON) to celebrate the life and legacy of the late former President Nelson Mandela.

Led and hosted by the South African High Commissioner to Kenya, Koleka Mqulwana, the Mandela centenary events included a mass held at the All Saints Cathedral Church on Sunday and a visit to New Life Children’s Home, where 400 learners from various primary schools to university students were hosted with the United Nations and celebrated a signing of a declaration.

During the ceremony, the students delivered a declaration that expressed the future that they envisioned for themselves in which they would experience safety, food security, education, peace and prosperity.

Mqulwana also remembered and celebrated the life of anti-apartheid stalwart Albertina Sisulu, who lobbied for the education and equal rights of women and children.

Mama Sisulu was widely regarded as a mother of the South African nation due to her motherly role and maternal instincts as a nurse and caregiver.

Mqulwana said the legacies of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu are about making a positive impact on people’s lives through selfless actions, particularly for children and those that are disadvantaged or disenfranchised.

“As an important East African ally to South Africa, it is fitting that we are commemorating the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth in Kenya, while also taking to heart the message of the life of Albertina Sisulu in 2018,” said Mqulwana.

She said the admirable collaboration with South African businesses operating in Kenya in celebrating the centenary has been inspiring.

“Ploughing back into Kenyan communities by South African companies, through their corporate social responsibility initiatives planned throughout the year, is in line with Nelson Mandela’s core values of humility, selflessness and passion,” Mqulwana said.

Lessons for leaders

Brand South Africa Chief Marketing Officer Linda Sangaret said today’s leaders can look to the Mandela legacy to understand the distinction between positional power and personal influence.

“The legacy Nelson Mandela left with us is that you can have many roles as a leader beyond being in a position of power,” Sangaret said.

Brand South Africa’s General Manager for Global Markets, Dr Judy Smith-Höhn, emphasised that the African continent is central to driving positive perceptions of South Africa as a country.

“The activities of our missions abroad are key to the work that we do in positioning South Africa as a competitive and attractive destination,” Smith-Höhn said.

Additional Nelson Mandela centenary events planned for July include a Mandela Lecture at the University of Nairobi on 26 July 2018, the unveiling of Nelson Mandela and Dedan Kimathi busts at the Heroes Garden of the Dedan Kimathi University of Technology; reconstruction of Zia Ra Wimbi Primary School in Kilifi; the donation of Mandela books to the Kenya National Library Services, and a visit to Kakuma Refugee Camp for the benefit of young women and girls. –