International Nelson Mandela Day – a gift to the world

What are you giving Madiba for his birthday?

The Father of The Nation, who made forgiveness and bright dress shirts cool, celebrates his 92nd birthday on 18 July 2010. South Africa dedicated the 2010 FIFA World Cup to him, and now we can celebrate the end of a super successful tournament together with his birthday.

In fact the whole world is celebrating Nelson Mandela Day on his birthday, trying to keep playing forward the goodwill of South Africa’s 1993 Nobel Peace Prize winner and international icon. 18 July 2009 saw the first official international Nelson Mandela Day, the second of which Madrid, Spain will host this year. The world is wishing former South African president and icon of peace and unity, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, happy birthday and we're all asked to give him (and each other) a gift.

Give to Madiba by giving something back

According to, Nelson Mandela Day "is an annual celebration of Nelson Mandela’s life and a global call to action for people to recognize their individual ability to make an imprint and change the world around them."

The initiative has inspired cities across the globe to be guided by Nelson Mandela's global HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention campaign, 46664 ( People from all over the world are gifting Mandela by giving something back and engaging in fun, formalised volunteer programmes that benefit affiliated charities and development organisations.  The result is an injection of sustainable support and collective celebration across the world in the name of a man more affectionately known as Madiba.

South Africans encouraged to emulate its role model

South Africans are encouraged to emulate Nelson Mandela's life by being an active part of the celebrations this year. To promote selflessness, compassion, generosity and love we are all asked to dedicate some time to invest in local communities.  'Make Every Day a Nelson Mandela Day' is the catchphrase  for donating 67 minutes of your time to mimic Madiba's many years of public service.

Madiba's hometown honoured

In South Africa the main activities in will take place in Mvezo village in the Eastern Cape, Madiba's birthplace. In a build up to the day, new roads leading to the village are being constructed, and a primary school is being renovated.  

From here to everywhere – Nelson Mandela's 2010 birthday celebration

Here's a section of celebrations related to the birthday of a man dubbed "the national liberator, the saviour, its Washington and Lincoln rolled into one" by Newsweek Magazine.

Gogos for Madiba: soccer grannies and superstars

A group of grandmothers are teaming up to entertain the world and raise funds for 46664. Filled with gusto and goodwill, this female football league is  shooting videos recreating  highlights from the 2010 World Cup.


Musicians for Madiba

South Africa Music Award winners, including Axene, the youngest ever winner of The Best English Pop album, committed to action on Mandela Day. Best Contemporary Jazz Album winner, Adam Glasser said this year “it was an exceptional privilege to learn about the variety of work being done by the Foundation and as a 2010 SAMA award winner I am inspired to make as concrete a contribution as I can to your work.”

Cycle for Madiba

From 15 -18 July 2010, Johannesburg to Cape Town local and international actors, explorers, media leaders, sports people and singers aim to promote Mandela Day by cycling for South Africa. Expect sweaty moments with Marc Batchelor (Ex-Bafana player and presenter on Supersport), Hanna Grobler (Survivor SA contestant and actress in “Getroud met Rugby), Jack Devnarain (One of the leading actors in Isidingo) and more.

Blood for Africa

If you can't sketch, sing, cycle or play soccer for Mandela Day, you can give 67 minutes of your time to the legacy of Nelson Mandela in another way. The Nelson Mandela Foundation is working with the South African National Blood Service to encourage citizens to donate blood to help keep a much needed clean blood supply in stock. It might sting for a second, but, hayibo, in a land with such a high HIV rate, it's a good way to say happy birthday too.


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