United Nation Call: The need for a Mandela Day.
First Published 2nd September 2008, Re-publish now to ignite the call
In today’s contemporary world, every day is a specialized day set aside either by the United Nations or state government to commemorate or celebrate a particular event that touches on the Human Society. Nations in the quest for protecting human society adopted treaties that guarantee the welfare of their citizens. In light with this, lately in Africa, we have seen and observed days like the Africa child day in remembrance of the Soweto Massacre, which reminds our leaders the need to shun violence and advocate for peace; world environmental day which focuses on waste management that has been identified as one of the major causes of pollution by emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere; Global week against gun violence which calls for the attention of the public against the proliferation of guns, small arms and light weapons; women day, which brings to mind the role and rights of women in society off course in Cameroon this day has been catastrophic considering the attitudes which most women usually engage to during such days; labour day, which brings to mind the rights of a worker and the quest to fulfill better working condition. off course this is another avenue for reckless drinking, eating and speeches which do not change year after year, workers even care the less about improving their welfare for once the government, companies or the employer provides few drinks on such days, the rest is history; world malaria day; world breast feeding day; world HIV/AIDS day and so on and so forth.
It has been realized that most of this celebration goes on year after year and day after day with the same policies and promises made and adopted but never executed. It has come to be an avenue for reckless spending and an opportunity for government officials to siphoned state money into their private account. Africans find themselves celebrating most of these days institionalised by the west, but it is high time Africans sit up and institutionalsed a day that can be celebrated all over the world as a MANDELA DAY because this gentleman did a lot not only to blacks but to the whites, preaching for national unity and reconciliation, he is an epitome of justice and freedom in our society. Celebrating his birthday is not enough, there is need to go beyond that.
It is however important for us to recapitulate the struggle in which this gentleman Nelson Mandela fought together with others. Mandela is a living legend and a global icon in which Africans and the world over respect and venerate. Born on the 18th /july/1918, he destined his life to fight for freedom for his country and his actions had influence decisions in many other countries. He was a man of Humility, commitment, pragmatism, principles, generosity, conviction, perseverance and sacrifice. In 1961 in a letter he addressed, he said “I shall fight the government side by side with you, inch by inch and mile by mile until victory is won … for my part, I have made my choice. I will not leave South Africa nor will I surrender. Only through hardship, sacrifice and militant action can freedom be won. The struggle is my life. I will continue fighting for freedom until the end of my days”. Mandela was a militant, a symbol and a politician that works successfully throughout these stages. As a militant he led useful strikes and boycott that created an impact on the life of South Africa; as a symbol he defended the cause for freedom and as a political leader, he came out of prison to the presidency and retired honourably, principled as always but with pragmatism and compromise to bring all the fractions of ANC together without a feeling of revenge.
I think a lot of write-up has been written about this great leader, the father of fathers, the democratic and freedom guru of our time. What can be done for this great man? Even after he leaving this sinful world, a day should be institutionalize and called a MANDELA DAY in which Africans and the world over can celebrate while remembering the need for a free and responsible society within the rubric of democracy, Where leaders can examine themselves and institutions of the country to see whether it meets the aspiration of the people and whether the basic fundamentals of freedom are being respected and implemented. It would also be a day for the world to say no to racism and violence. Such a day can begin with workshops and seminars to drill the youths. Awards carrying the symbol of Mandela can be given to African leaders on the principles of Mandelalisation for this will serve as an opportunity for African leaders/youths to always have the inner feelings to follow in his footsteps and ensure that there is freedom and social justice for all, for all men are born equal with equal inalienable rights.
Mandela Day, here it comes