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How to Mandela

Updated: Oct 11, 2022

Earlier this week, a producer friend of mine called to coax some content out of me for a local TV show. The brief - come and talk about how citizens can get involved in their communities this Mandela Day (18 July by the way).

These are the notes I wrote in preparation for the interview.



Leverage the influence you have at your place of work. If you are in a somewhat organised workplace, chances are there is a pocket of resources allocated for "charity" (we can discuss this problematic term at a later stage). Lean into these conversations and present organisations and changemakers you know from your community to direct these resources to.


You know people. Round up family and friends and have a targeted conversation about what you can do together to drive positive change. Convening these conversations harnesses our collective potential inevitably resulting in direct impact to hyper-local initiatives.

Sweat Equity

Fight the urge to reflect on your relative / perceived lack of resources. Present your hands, feet or mind as a service to initiatives, organisations or individuals making a change in your community.

Cash & stuff

Making a donation of cash, equipment, food or clothing is a worthy contribution to nation-building and is encouraged. Always record these contributions with the entity / programme your are supporting. This protects the receiver as much as it does you and encourages healthy governance we all want to see in our country.

The bottom line is that we must plan to do SOMETHING.

The official Mandela day website run by Madiba's Foundation simply states “Do what you can, with what you have, wherever you are”

While their thematic drive is centred on climate change and food security, the spirit of the day is active citizenship.

We wish you all a joyful and exciting preparation for the day.

This is how we #GrowZA


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