Although Mandela Month has come and gone, Brand South Africa believes there is a need to keep showing kindness and helping communities to plant their own food.
In line with this call, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and its global partners have championed a national effort to capacitate as many home-based and community food gardens as possible.
The effort includes the campaign for citizens to plant one million trees, 60% of which will be fruit trees.
“This year, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Brand South Africa are asking you to use your hands to do good in the world, specifically to help end hunger and mitigate climate change by planting trees and food in your communities, cities, gardens, and on your pavements. Our aim is to get one million trees planted around the world following Mandela Day,” Jimmy Ranamane, General Manager for Global Markets at Brand South Africa.
Ranamane also urged South Africans living abroad to keep Mandela’s legacy alive by ensuring the promotion of food security.
“May we understand that the Earth is in our hands. We also call Missions abroad and the Global South Africans community to heed the call and be exemplary citizens in their adopted countries by participating in the tree planting campaign or other good deeds,” said Ranamane.
“Lastly, we urge you to download the Nelson Mandela Day toolkit and share images and videos of your Mandela Day-aligned activities.”
Nelson Mandela Foundation acting chief executive Verne Harris said focusing on food security was crucial, especially during record high temperatures in the northern hemisphere through July.
“The Foundation recognises that urgent action must be taken to combat the climate crisis and thereby ensure continued food security. In making a positive contribution to climate justice and food security, the Nelson Mandela Foundation continues to work with communities to plant trees, the majority of which are fruit trees, and to resource a number of community gardens across South Africa,” said Harris.
He added that humanity has long relied on indigenous knowledge to secure food and water resources despite changes in the climate.
“For thousands of years, human beings have adapted to changes in climate and have moved geographically in response to changing environments and contexts. Adapting and moving are things human beings should be good at. In my view, humanity is being called to remember its longer history.
“It is being challenged to think outside the conceptual boxes that Western positivism has entrenched during the centuries since the Industrial Revolution. It is being challenged to revisit indigenous knowledge and histories. We have to do differently. We have to embrace transformation. And we have to understand that the Earth is in our hands now,” said Harris.
Mandela, South Africa’s founding president, died in December 2013 at the age of 95. He served one term as president between 1994 and 1999 before retiring from active politics.
Mandela Day is an annual global celebration adopted by the United Nations that takes place on July 18 to honour the life and legacy of the anti-apartheid stalwart.
Last week, the Moscow House of Nationalities hosted the grand opening of the “Nelson Mandela. Life in Photographs” photo exhibition. The exposition depicts various stages of the life of the outstanding African politician. This included his childhood photographs, those taken during his imprisonment, those as President of South Africa and many other captured episodes of his life.
The exhibition was dedicated to the 105th anniversary of Mandela’s birth and the promotion of the international initiative to erect a monument to the great African politician in Moscow. The event was organized on the initiative of the Russian-African Club of Lomonosov Moscow State University in cooperation with the Moscow House of Nationalities, the Commission on Public Security and People’s Diplomacy of the Council for Nationalities under the Government of Moscow, the Public Diplomacy Foundation. It was also supported by the Secretariat of the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum.