Nelson Mandela Day 2021: Theme, History, Significance-All you need to know!

Nelson Mandela Day 2021: Mandela Day is celebrated in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom. The day aims to encourage everyone to take action and inspire change in the world. 

Created On: Jul 18, 2021 14:20 IST
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela Day 2021: Nelson Mandela International Day is observed every year on July 18, on the birth anniversary of the former South African President. This year marks the 103rd birth anniversary of Nelson Mandela.

Mandela Day is celebrated in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom. The day aims to encourage everyone to take action and inspire change in the world. 

Nelson Mandela had devoted his entire life to the service of humanity, as a human rights lawyer who opposed the apartheid system in South Africa as well as an international peacemaker. He was the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa.

Mandela Day 2021 Theme 

The theme of Mandela Day 2021 is “One Hand Can Feed Another”. The theme highlights the importance of governments and citizens working together to build a peaceful, sustainable and equitable world for all.

Mandela Day Significance

• The Nelson Mandela International Day is aimed at honouring and remembering Nelson Mandela and his vast legacy of social work and community service. Mandela believed in equality and advocated for people to rise above colour and social class and come together and help each other.

• Mandela Day every year invites people to make a difference in their communities. The day works on the belief that everyone has the ability and the responsibility to change the world for the better! 

• The day is commemorated with various community events, exhibits and fundraising volunteer events across the world.

 

Mandela Day History

The UN General Assembly declared July 18th as Nelson Mandela International day in 2009. The day aims to recognise Mandela’s values and his dedication to the service of humanity in various areas including race, gender equality, conflict resolution, promotion and protection of human rights, reconciliation and the rights of children and other vulnerable groups. 

The day also aims to highlight Mandela's fight for social justice, fight against poverty and his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world.

Nelson Mandela prize

The United Nations General Assembly introduced the Nelson Mandela prize in 2014 to recognise the achievements of those who dedicated their lives to the service of humanity, much like he had in his lifetime.

Who was Nelson Mandela?

• Nelson Mandela served as the President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the first black head of state of South Africa and the first one to be elected in a fully representative democratic election.

• Throughout his life, he had been a staunch advocate for democracy and had widely opposed the racist system of apartheid in South Africa and dedicated his life to establishing social equality for all.

• He was arrested and imprisoned in 1962, and sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiring to overthrow the state. He served nearly 27 years in prison before being released in 1990. 

• His efforts to end the apartheid system resulted in the first multiracial general election in South Africa in 1994, which his African National Congress (ANC) party won. 

• After being elected, his government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid by tackling institutionalized racism and fostering racial reconciliation. 

• He declined to serve a second presidential term and instead chose to become an elder statesman and focused on combating poverty and HIV/AIDS through the charitable Nelson Mandela Foundation in the latter part of his life. 

• Mandela is widely regarded as an icon of democracy and social justice and is described as the "Father of the Nation" in South Africa. 

• Mandela received over 250 honours and was honoured with the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for his extensive work on social reforms.

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