“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory and nice things; but you should take the front line when there is danger; then people will appreciate your leadership.” The human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected President of a free South Africa – Nelson Mandela – who devoted his whole life to the service of humanity for consecutive 67 years.
International Nelson Mandela Day was declared by the United Nations Organisations (UNO) in November 2009, in recognition of the services rendered, for the cause of justice and humanity, by the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela and also for his contribution to the culture of peace and freedom. Mandela Day is not meant as a public holiday, but as a day to honour the legacy of Nelson Mandela.
The world is surrounded by too many pros and cons, and we would be more honoured if such a day can serve to bring together people around the world to fight poverty and promote peace, reconciliation and cultural diversity. It is a pivotal and specific opportunity for the upcoming generations to take on the responsibilities of leadership in addressing the world ‘s social injustices and find ways for the solution of the barriers that have become obstacles to the world’s development.
In fact, it is a global movement to honour his life and act to transform the world for better. Every individual must listen to the call of Nelson Mandela simply to do good to everyone everyday, then we will be living Nelson Mandela’s legacy, and create a prosperous county of our dreams. This is a symbolic day to honour the one and the only great statesman and make everyday as Mandela Day as it is observed to mark the 20th years of a free democratic South Africa.
In fact, three rules that he followed throughout his life are unique sacrifices – free yourself, free others and serve everyday everyone. With no doubt, these were the persons who burnt themselves and gave light to others. Changes in one’s life can take place in a world where knowledge truly is power, education and literacy are the basic building blocks that unlock the gates of opportunity and success. We all have a responsibility as parents, as caregivers, as educators, as leaders and as citizens, to instil in individuals, children and communities, the critical drive for literacy and learning so that we can give them the chance to fulfil their dreams. And let’s lead through education.