For many years, Nelson Mandela’s birthday has been used to do much more than just celebrate the birth of one of the greatest leaders of our time.
On the former president’s 90th birthday, a concert was held in Hyde Park, London in 2008. Brian May, Soweto Gospel Choir, Annie Lennox, Loyiso, Josh Groban and Amy Winehouse were among the artists who performed to help raise funds for, and awareness of, the 46664 initiative created by Mandela. In New York two years ago, on his 91st birthday, the first international Mandela Day was commemorated, with a series of events, culminating in a major concert at Radio City Music Hall, where Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder took to the stage.
Ella Bhatt, one of the members of the esteemed group of leaders, The Elders, which was brought together by Mandela on his 89th birthday in Johannesburg 2007, says we should use the day to ask how can we honour his achievements?
South African rapper JR created this track to keep the question fresh in our minds, while artist Conor Mccreedy painted this on the wall of his apartment in Manhattan, New York.
And so today, as we celebrate Tata Madiba’s 93rd birthday, we also celebrate our ability to follow in his foot-steps, each in our own way.
What will you do?