Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela is the man whose grand actions transformed the 20th century and shaped the 21st. And in his honor, the world celebrates the Nelson Mandela International Day on 18 July every year. This day recognizes his offering to the fight for democracy globally and the development of a culture of peace throughout the whole world. This day honors Nelson Mandela and marks his contribution to peace and harmony through his dynamic association in settling disputes, eradicating racial issues, international democracy, promoting human rights, and settlements.

Nelson Mandela International Day was initially observed in New York on 18 July 2009. The United Nations General Assembly approved a resolution on 10 November 2009 declaring 18 July as Nelson Mandela International Day. This day flashes a spotlight on the values and courage of Mandela. He had some profound duty to human rights, freedom, and justice for all. All his values were reflected in his work and he became a source of inspiration for countless people around the world.

Nelson Mandela’s constant chase for justice and equality was correlated with his status as the father of peace in his country South Africa. Mandela was a former South African President and civil rights advocate who devoted his life to fighting for equality. With his noble efforts, he encouraged the overthrow of South Africa’s racist system of apartheid. The apartheid was a policy that governed relations between South Africa's white minority and non-white majority. This policy approved racial discrimination and political and economic bias against non-white people. Mandela was highly contributory in tearing down the whole oppressive government with apartheid and installing democracy in his country.

Imprisoned for almost 27 years for opposing the racist institution of apartheid, Mandela later became the first black president of South Africa where he made development from the white-dominated government to a multiracial democracy. He further received the Nobel Prize in 1993 for peacefully ending the apartheid government and setting the foundation of democracy. And all such achievements of Nelson Mandela are honored each year as the Nelson Mandela International Day.

Protest after Mandela's imprisonment 

The Nelson Mandela International Day stands as a monumental event for all to take action and inspire a revolution. Mandela created a tremendous shift in his time when he advocated for the legitimate worth and equality of every living person and sustained action, equality, love, and solidarity beyond the borders as well.

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite”.
                                                                                       - Nelson Mandela

One more fascinating thing about Nelson Mandela was that he referred to Indian Independence idol Mahatma Gandhi as his role model. Mandela was inspired by Gandhiji to lead South Africa’s quest for independence, and he was even sometimes referred to as the ‘Gandhi of South Africa’. While Mandela and Gandhi never met each other, both were connected by a desire to finish oppression and bring out the revolution. These great individuals took up the case of their respective colonized nations and their enslaved people, encouraging them to counter dictatorship and fight for liberation.

Mandela’s outlook and approach left an incredible mark on the world and it additionally shaped the socio-political journey of South Africa, and Mandela Day is celebrated for having such a big impact on this man. This occasion is meant to encourage people worldwide to give back the way that Mandela has throughout his lifetime. And to mark this day suitably and civilly, Nelson Mandela Foundation addresses that, “Mr. Mandela gave 67 years of his life fighting for the rights of humanity. All we are asking is that everyone gives 67 minutes of their time, whether it’s supporting your chosen charity or serving your local community”.

Nelson Mandela was a global icon of smart leadership, who inspired the entire world with his vision to end injustice. His grand battles to bring a peaceful change to a democratic society are intriguing. And we can learn countless lessons from his inspiring life on this Nelson Mandela International Day.