Above left: (From left to right) Professor Njabulo Ndebele (Chairperson of the NMF and MRF), Ms. Elinor Sisulu, Ms. Ndileka Mandela, Mr. Sello Hatang (CEO, NMF), and Dr. Kimberley Porteus (Executive Director, NMI.)
Above Middle: Panel of CEO’s present the work of Mandela legacy organisations, hosted by Marriott International. From left to right: Ms. Sibongile Makhabela (Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund), Dr. Mandisa Maholwana (Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital), Dr. Kimberley Porteus (Nelson Mandela Institute for Education and Rural Development), Mr. Sello Hatang (Nelson Mandela Foundation), and Mr. Shaun Johnson (Mandela Rhodes Foundation).
Above right: (from left to right) Ms. Charlene Lingham (Ambassador, NMI), Mr. Vinny Lingham, Ms. Basetsana Kumalo (Ambassador, NMI).
MANDELA 100 : CELEBRATING AND BUILDING
THE FAMILY OF MANDELA LEGACY
26 – 27 April 2019,
Washington DC, USA
On the 26th and 27th of April, the family of Mandela legacy organisations gathered in Washington DC along with friends and long term Mandela supporters to celebrate the Mandela Centenary and the 25th anniversary of the first democratic elections in South Africa.
The Mandela 100 celebrations focused global attention on the work of the organisations established by Mandela tasked with taking forward his work and legacy mandate.
Mrs. Graça Machel paid tribute to the Nelson Mandela Institute, and the importance of Mandela’s legacy work in education and rural development. She recognised the importance of the NMI as the legacy organisation based in Mandela’s home province, the Eastern Cape.
Dr. Porteus, the Executive Director of the NMI, discussed the significance of the work and future vision of the NMI as part of a panel of CEOs of Mandela legacy organisations, hosted by Marriott International. The panel included the chief executives of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, the Mandela’s Children Hospital, the Mandela Rhodes Scholarship Fund, and the Nelson Mandela Institute.
Porteus said, “it was a special opportunity. Based in rural schools can make it difficult to meet and engage global supporters and allies. The panel provided an opportunity to share our work and aspirations. Friends and supporters of Mandela understand how deeply Madiba felt about education and rural development. The response was moving. People were excited to hear about his legacy work in this area.”
In a breakfast event hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce, Mrs. Graça Machel and Secretary Madeleine Albright, Former United States Secretary of State reflected on the meaning and significance of Mandela’s legacy.
Graça Machel linked the Mandela Centenary not only to the struggle for liberation in Africa, but to the challenge of looking to the future. “Particularly today, when we are challenged with the world we live in, we have to ask ourselves, “what the next 100 years are going to look like?” and, “who is the maker of the next 100 years?”
The celebrations culminated in a gala event, at the National Museum for African American History and Culture. At the centre of the event was a conversation between President Barack Obama and M
Mrs. Graça Machel, moderated by Ms. Lesley Williams. Williams posed questions about social change – the struggle for hope over fear, the relationship between personal and social transformation, the role of young people, and the lessons to we can draw from Mandela’s life as we confront the stark challenges of today.
President Obama summarised, “There is always a struggle between hope and fear, between the world as it is and how we’d like it to be. And during times of tumult and disruption… the danger of us resorting to fear to organise ourselves, falling back on tribe, race, ethnicity, sectarian lines – that always becomes strong. The good news is that fear is typically the province of the old, and hope is the province of the young. There are occasional exceptions, like Madiba, who stayed young at heart throughout his life – never succumbing to cynicism and always believing in the possibility of human connection, mutual understanding, rational thought – all of which could contribute to a society that works for everyone.”
Ms. Basetsana Kumalo, an NMI Ambassador represented the NMI at the event. Basetsana reflected, “I have been committed to the work of the NMI for over 10 years. We all know that Tata Madiba held education high – as the most important gift we can give our children. I have been concerned that too few people know about the work of the NMI. It is the least well known of the Mandela legacy organisations. I am thrilled that the global community is coming to know more about the work of the NMI. Everyone I have met here has been concerned and committed to helping to forward Tata’s legacy work in rural education.”
Charlene Lingham, NMI Ambassador and coordinator of development in the US, came to the gala event with her husband Vinny Lingham. “I know the power of the work of the NMI. I was so happy that more people were exposed to the work of the NMI. I do not know anything more important that providing all of our children with a quality education. I cannot imagine any bigger gift to the legacy of Mandela than to achieve this goal in his name.”
Across the event, legendary artists paid tribute to the legacy of Mandela, including Sibongile Khumalo, Vusi Mahlasela, Dave Matthews, Chloe x Halle, Atandwa Kani, and Amanda Gorman.
Porteus reflected, “It was a moving event. It was a reminder of what Madiba means to the on-going struggle for justice across the world. People understand Madiba’s commitment to education. They were excited about our work and about contributing toward the struggle to provide all children with a quality and humanising education. As the organisation based in Madiba’s home province, at Madiba’s alma matre the University of Fort Hare, it was a special opportunity to build and strengthen relationships with people across the world dedicated to his legacy in education.”