2017 International Mandela Day: Message from the Vice-Chancellor and Principal

Posted on July 18, 2017


On 18 July 2009, the United Nations General Assembly (the single most representative decision and policy making organ of the UN), voted in favour of adopting an international day in honour of the life and contribution of Nelson Mandela to South Africa and the world. This decision shows the global impact that one person can have.

Through his selfless contribution to ensuring that millions of South Africans would enjoy freedom within his lifetime, to his lifelong commitment to the cause of children, HIV/Aids awareness and standing up for issues of justice; Nelson Mandela and his legacy stand tall.

To commemorate his life, sacrifice and principles International Mandela Day is celebrated on Mandela's birthday on 18 July. Everyone is encouraged to give 67 minutes in honour of Mandela's 67 years of sacrifice to bettering the lives of others.

Just as the day encourages people to take action, inspire change, and to make every day a Mandela Day; UP espouses the same for its staff and students: to make today (and every day) matter. We have a strong commitment to our communities and have well-established community engagement programmes in which our research, students and staff make a difference in the lives of so many people, daily.

In the words of Nelson Mandela, 'There can be no greater gift than that of giving of one's time and energy to help others without expecting anything in return'. We encourage our staff and students to give back and participate in the goals and objectives of Mandela Day; and to find novel and peaceful ways of improving the world and society around us.


Prof CM de la Rey
Vice-Chancellor and Principal



- Author Department of University Relations

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