This year for Madiba Day the Rotary Club of Algoa Bay gave back for 67 minutes – 1 minute for every year Nelson Mandela worked to make the world a better place – at The Provincial Hospital. The hospital is in Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa. In honour of his birthday, the call is out for people everywhere to give 67 minutes of their time to help their community in some way. Everyone has the power to change the world. The United Nations declared 18 July as “Nelson Mandela International Day” in 2009.
Hello from Gauteng! I’m currently up in Johannesburg after a crazy four days in Durban at the Travel Indaba for Skybok. This weekend my brother and I went for an ice cream at the famous Nelson Mandela Square in the Sandton City Mall. The name ‘Sandton’ is derived from a combination of Sandown and Bryanston. In less than 30 years, Sandton has become the most significant business and financial district in South Africa. It’s home to approximately 300 000 residents and 10 000 businesses including investment banks, top businesses, financial consultants, the Johannesburg stock exchange and one of the biggest convention centres on the African continent, the Sandton Convention Centre. I loved the Nelson Mandela statue in the centre of the square.
Skybokis handling Gravel Road Entertainment’s “Retro Afrika Bioscope” Social Media Marketing at the Waterfront Film Studios in Cape Town. Retro Afrika Bioscope is Gravel Road’s specialty release label for classic retro African content. The exciting challenge is to digitally restore 160 films that were made during the 70’s & 80’s in South Africa! We launched the Mayibuye Film Festivalwhich ran on SABC 1 from April 13-27 to showcase 6 films that have been restored so far. We’ve been to film festivals all over the world, including the Berlin Film Festival in Germany, The Carthage Film Festivalin Tunisia, The Lumiere Film Festivalin France + we also had our North American debutat MoMa in New York! The community is now around 30,000 members online!
See the crew working hard on digitally remastering the films – read more about them here. See the gallery of behind-the-scenes here (Photos by Patrick Ryan, shot on location at the Waterfront Film Studios).
It was the first time these films were seen by audiences in over 40 years, as well as being their first ever TV debut. I think these stories are so important because they are our heritage. It’s exciting to me that we can restore them to perfect condition and show them to modern South Africa. One of our films is Joe Bullet, originally banned in 1973 by the Apartheid government. It has now been recovered, fully restored & premiered at the Durban International Film Festival in July 2014. It’s crazy to think that while it was being made Nelson Mandela was in prison and Winnie had just been arrested!
2 films aired back-to-back every Sunday night in April from 20h30 on SABC 1. If you missed them you can catch them via online streaming. We’ve got an awesome partnership with Wabona, one of Africa’s premiere video streaming services, to make the films available to the public for free (http://wabona.com/). If you are a Mxit user, watch them through that platform via Cinemo (Wabona’s mobile service). A new deal that’s been struck with Commuter TV will see the films running on TV screens in mini bus taxis throughout the country. There’s no excuse not to see these vintage African films!
I am proud to be associated with Rotary International through my involvement with projects of The Rotary Club of Algoa Bay in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa. Recently Rotary initiated 3 days of free healthcare to communities across the country in their fantastic “Rotary Health Days” initiative. I covered all the social media PR & marketing for the Eastern Province, focusing on the sites in Port Elizabeth at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium and in Uitenhage at the Volkswagen sponsored Love Life Youth Centre in Kwanobuhle.
Please see our awesome album of the Rotary Family Health Days here. I was so honoured to receive active support and involvement from the Rotary Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, via their official instagram feed here and their Facebook page here. Rotary clubs are all over the world. They bring together leaders to exchange ideas and take action to help empower youth, enhance health, promote peace, and eradicate polio.
For more than 100 years, Rotarians have joined together from all continents, cultures, and occupations to take action in our communities and worldwide. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds.
Rotarians are volunteers with diverse perspectives and they’re committed to making lasting changes in communities globally. The goal of Rotary is to advance goodwill through improvement of health, education and alleviation of poverty. Thanks to my family’s involvement with them – my mother is the Assistant Governor of District 9370 – I’m never short of a community project to get involved with. See my photo gallery on giving back to various charities right here in Nelson Mandela Bay as well as in Cape Town. One such initiative was raising money to buy a bakkie (car) for the Ubomi Obutsha Community Centre in Kwazakhele township and handing out sweets and other goodies to their children. Ubomi is a community development project of Combined Christian Ministries to the Poor. Projects like these help me in my small way to make a difference. I believe in basic human rights and equality for all. I believe in empowering people through education and healthcare. I believe in nation-building and spreading love. Rotary helps me do this. Please support the Rotary Community on their official Facebook page or Instagram feed and see how you, too, can get involved in your city.
They are currently running a photo competition with using the hashtag “#rotaryhero” next to photos you upload online. I have entered a couple of the ones we took at our Health Days – one in particular spoke to my heart. It was a photo of a man named Samuel from New Brighton township here in Nelson Mandela Bay. He was in his shack listening to the radio when he heard an interview with ambassadors for the Health Days. They were leaders from the Rotary Club of San Rafael Harbour in San Francisco who had flown in especially to be part of the Health Days here. They were handing out prosthetic hands. Samuel happened to need one. He gathered up some coins, got in a taxi and made his way to the stadium where he received immediate attention and was fitted with a new hand. For the first time since 1982, he held a cup of coffee in his dominant hand. He was beaming from ear to ear and it brought tears to our eyes and to his. He was full of a hope and joy he hadn’t experienced in over 30 years, losing his hand during Apartheid.
Because of the collaborative effort of all Rotarians at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium when he arrived (near closing time!) to work speedily and effectively to give him his hand, I nominate us for the #rotaryhero prize 🙂 Rotary is about teamwork, human rights, making a difference and – most importantly- giving people back their dignity and self-respect. Nelson Mandela believed in this too. Rotarians in Nelson Mandela Bay did just that every day during the 3 day initiative, culminating in this case on the last day. Because of it, we are all Rotary “heroes” in my eyes.
This photo encompasses it all. Please “like” our photo on Facebook here!
Running from April 2 – 4 2014, Rotary Internationaltogether with the Department of Health in South Africa initiated 3 days of free community health checks + testing. Many add-on services partnered in order to provide a complete array of health testing. The aim? To promote a person’s basic human right to healthcare. It took place across 140 sites in South Africa (Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Kwazulu-Natal, Lesotho, Gauteng + Northern Province). Simultaneous testing was also occurring in Nigeria, Kenya + Uganda. Below are some photographs from District 9370 as they rolled out their health days!
Uitenhage, in the Eastern Cape, was the official launch site of South Africa. Between this site + the site in Nelson Mandela Bay at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, we tested close to 3000 people between the 2 sites over the 3 days. Offering services such as testing for blood pressure, HIV, TB, audiology, optometry, dental, cervical, kidneys + cholesterol, there was also de-worming, family planning, measles vaccinations, vitamin A injections, diabetes, blood glucose testing + prosthetic hands for the disabled. Everyone was afforded the same opportunity to become empowered with their state of health. Where there was a need, patients were referred for the correct treatment + help. The beauty of the health days is that all the health services have been combined so that families can be seen as a unit – mothers + children can get tested together. This curtails travelling expenses + loss of valuable work days. I worked as Social Media Manager for the Eastern Province of South Africa, providing updates on the developments of the Family Health Days at the sites. View all the photos at thisawesome link. Support the official facebook page of the Rotary Club of Algoa Bay here. Join the Rotary movement globally here. Join me on Twitter here. Let’s connect on Instagram here.
On Thursday evening I attended the launch of the new South African flagship store of sports brand “ERKE”. See their Facebook page here and their Twitter here. It opened to the public as of 12 Dec at 9 am on the ground floor of Cape Town’s trendy Garden Centre. I had a really good time, despite being a hot mess thanks to Cape Town’s infamous summer heat! Thank goodness for Cruz Vodka & Scheckter’s OrganicEnergy Drink cocktails which cooled me down a great deal! Along with Peroni South Africa, S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna waters & bubbly by Steenberg, everyone had reason to get loose with their festive spirits – and with their wallets, too! Liezel van Der Westhuizen gave a stunning welcome explaining a bit about the brand. Together with Marina Nestel, they made a cute pair dressed in ERKE sportswear! Thanks to The Little Black Book PR & Events for the wonderful evening. See the official album from the event here.
Marina Nestel & Liezel Van Der Westhuizen
Liezel Van Der Westhuizen, Naushad Kahn & Tamika Doubell
Anyone who knows me knows I’m proudly South African. Mandela’s passing had a huge effect on me as this country said goodbye to its most cherished soul. I was living in Cape Town at the time & all around me there were Madiba posters & South African flags waving in the streets. One day there was a huge concert to pay tribute to him at the Cape Town Stadium. Madiba has taught me so many lessons. When I think about it, he was the first one who taught me to get involved in my community where I could & work with others to strive for the better.
Something exciting I’ve been reading about is the biographical film of Mandela’s life, “Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom”, which is being released in South Africa in just five months. Entirely South-African made and the only motion picture with full endorsement from Nelson Mandela himself and the Nelson Mandela Foundation, I can’t wait to see this! Film producer Anant Singh announced on 27 May this year (which marked the 50th anniversary of Nelson Mandela arriving on Robben Island as prisoner) that the film is in its final stages of post production and will be released on November 29. The film started development back in 1996 when Singh was granted the film rights to Mandela’s autobiography by Mandela himself. It’s amazing to think after all these years of planning and execution, we will finally get to see it. Directed by Justin Chadwick, it started its principle photography a year ago and shot for 16 weeks around South Africa. The movie begins in 1924 and follows Madiba from his early childhood, through to his arrival in Johannesburg and culminates with his election as president of South Africa in 1994. During the course of the film, three actors play Nelson Mandela – Siza Pini plays the 8 year old Mandela, Atandwa Kani plays him at 16, and Idris Elba plays the remaining years. I absolutely love Idris Elba, he stars in the British TV Drama “Luther“. People say this role could see the popular British actor as a serious contender in the next Oscar race. I wouldn’t be surprised! Here is a related article if you are interested in reading more about the film. You can also like its official Facebook page here.