|#Sing4Madiba on July 18|
Monday, 18 June 2012 14:30
Exactly one month from today, on July 18, South Africans will be urged to join people all over the world in lending their voices and time to honour former President Nelson Mandela (affectionately known as Madiba) on his birthday.
With the icon’s 94th birthday just a month away, the Department of Basic Education, in conjunction with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Shout Foundation, Proudly South African and Brand SA are appealing to people worldwide to participate in the birthday celebrations.
These include joining in to sing a special Happy Birthday song for Madiba at 8 o’clock on the morning of Wednesday, July 18 and dedicating 67 minutes of their time that day to voluntarily perform some community service in their area. The day has officially been declared “International Mandela Day”.
“The countdown to International Mandela Day has started – there is one month to go. The words, ‘Mandela, Madiba and Tata’ unite our nation and the world,” says Yusuf Abramjee of Lead SA. “We have been called to action by our former President, our interactional icon, our elder statesman, our hero, our leader and the father of the nation – who has given so selflessly of himself through personal sacrifice and a profound amount of heart, compassion, reconciliation and forgiveness.”
“We are not only appealing to millions of people around the world to do 67 minutes of community service on July 18 – but also to show how much we love Tata by singing a very special Happy Birthday song to him,” says Panyaza Lesufi of the Department of Basic Education.
The song that will be sung to Madiba was recorded by thousands of South Africans who convened at the Nelson Mandela Square in Johannesburg on Tuesday, May 29.
According to Lead SA’s Terry Volkwyn, the song is a call to action. “Madiba’s legacy is one of active citizenship. Stand up, do the right thing and make a difference. Despite the many challenges that face South Africa, the citizens are a vibrant nation that shows us time and time again that the spirit of Ubuntu is alive and well. There is no better tribute we can pay to Madiba’s legacy than developing our nation into an active civil society that selflessly rolls up its sleeves and makes a difference.”
The song, which was released today, features a string of prominent artists and musicians. Vodacom has donated their infrastructure to enable people to download elements of the song by SMSing the word MADIBA to 44009. A return SMS will then lead users to a link to download the audio. Standard VAS rates and data costs apply.
Alternatively, the song is available on YouTube (see video above). People are urged to share it on Facebook, Twitter, and all other social media platforms and using the official hash-tag, #Sing4Madiba.
“Whether you are at home, in your car, in the street, in a factory or office or at school at 8 a.m. on July 18, take a minute and sing the special Happy Birthday song,” says Abramjee. “We are exploring the possibility of breaking a social media world record. We want to mobilise the South Africans and indeed the world to sing and pledge their 67 minutes on Mandela Day.”
The lyrics of the special Happy Birthday 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.”
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