The declaration of Mandela International day in 2009 by the United Nations was embraced by Nelson Mandela Museum as one of its key initiatives to preserve the legacy and values of Nelson Mandela by making a difference in the lives of the needy and to inspire debate on topical matters that affect South Africans.
This year’s International Mandela Day event comes at a time when the museum celebrates its twenty years of existence and preservation of Nelson Mandela Legacy while on the other side the world is faced with a challenge of COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. Under these circumstances, the museum will continue to celebrate International Mandela Day in compliance with governments COVID-19 precautionary measures. The museum will host three events in one day.
In celebrating the 20th anniversary, the museum will host an Online Public Debate on “Socio-economic impact of Corona Virus Disease 2019’’ (COVID-19). The planned debate will take place on the 18th of July 2020 during the Mandela Day on Keith Ngesi Radio. The purpose of the debate is to give an academic view on government plans and community response on this deadly virus. Speakers will be Professor. Bonke Dumisa of the University of KwaZulu-Natal and an Advocate of the High Court, Prof. Bheki Mngomezulu, a full Professor of Political Science at the University of Western Cape, Clinical Psychologist Ms Phaphama Mkhaliphi who works for Livingstone Tertiary Hospital and Dr Vukile Khumalo who is the Director of KZN Provincial Archives.
On the same day, the museum will also launch its two exhibitions called ‘Freedom’ and ‘Mandela Quilt Exhibition’. The exhibition on Freedom has been produced and donated by the University of Winchester in 2018. This exhibition was developed using the information collected by Film students who visited South Africa earlier that year. The exhibition is about the views and opinions of the community of Mthatha on what freedom means to them.
The second exhibition to be launched is themed “Mandela Quilt Exhibition” produced by South African and American artists collaborated in making quilt art pieces to honour Nelson Mandela. This, like the Freedom exhibition is aimed at expanding the scope of the museum’s travelling exhibitions and to continue taking the museum to the people especially those who cannot visit the physical structure of museum. The two exhibitions will be available online for virtual touring.
The Chairperson of the Nelson Mandela Museum Council, Dr Nomvuselelo Songelwa will officially lead the cutting of the ribbon. The two exhibitions will be used as travelling exhibitions. The museum in partnership with Ibandla laseMthini Evangelican Movement will provide meals to the homeless people of Mthatha. This will take place on the Mandela Day at the Railway Station in Mthatha.
For interviews call Nelson Mandela Museum Senior Manager Public Engagement and Marketing Ms Nontlahla Tandwa on 047-501 9500/072 791 3493 or email Nontlahla@nelsonmandelamuseum.org.za