6 July 2011
The legacy of Nelson Mandela was given wings this week when South African Airways (SAA) unveiled the Mandela Day branding that will be carried across its entire fleet.
The newly branded A330-200 Airbus was revealed to sponsors and the media at South African Airways’ technical park in Johannesburg on Monday.
“As an African carrier with global reach, it is only natural for SAA to strengthen its relationship with the Nelson Mandela Foundation by sharing our icon’s message with the world,” SAA CEO Siza Mzimela said at the unveiling.
Nelson Mandela Foundation CEO Achmat Dangor, addressing the crowd of 100 invited guests, said the The Mandela Day initiative has received overwhelming support.
“The business world has been incredible responsive to our call to do good. That is why the partnership with SAA is incredible, bringing to attention the need to develop a culture where everyone does their part to inspire change in the country.”
First flight for 93 underprivileged kids
Besides branding its entire fleet, the SAA programme for Mandela Day involves a variety of other activities taking place all over the country, particularly focused on making a difference in the lives of children.
For his 93rd birthday on 18 July, SAA and its partners will be flying 93 underprivileged children from all South Africa’s nine provinces to the foundation in Johannesburg, giving them their first flying experience. The children will also receive special gifts and school uniforms.
SAA is also including onboard elements like headrest messaging and relevant edutainment to support Mandela’s ongoing legacy.
“For a state-owned enterprise, we decided it was important to be good corporate citizens,” said SAA Chairperson Cheryl Carolus. “We want to contribute to improving the lives of our children just as our Tata Madiba has done.”
“Thank you to our generous sponsors,” Carolus said. “They have helped us to demonstrate how, as corporate South Africa, we can do so much more if we team up.”
Mandela Day activities
Mandela Day activities will be taking place nationally and internationally. On the national front, South Africa’s Parliament has arranged events to spread the legacy of Mandela.
“We want people to adopt the culture of ‘I live within a community and without others I’m nothing’ so that they can be the change they want to see,” said Member of Parliament Buti Manamela.
From July 11 to 18, a Mandela week programme of events will take place in Giyani, Limpopo, encouraging people to do extraordinary things to make a difference.
In 2009, Mandela Day was declared an international day after the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution declaring that July 18, Mandela’s birthday, will be observed as a day to take action and inspire change.
As a result, the UN has joined the call to inspire individuals around the world with a range of activities at all their international deployment offices.
Stella Anyangwe, representative of the United Nations South African deployment, explained: “The values of Mr Mandela are similar to the UN Charter that was established in 1945, and it’s significant for the UN to support Mandela Day, as it resonates with our own struggle against apartheid.”
At the UN headquarters in New York, an exhibition of materials is on display for the month of July.
Other international activities include the sharing of a message about the importance of Nelson Mandela Day with all UN deployment offices. The material will be circulated in all six UN languages, ensuring that the Mandela Day message is spread around the world.
“It’s with great pleasure that the UN joined hands with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and South African Airways in kicking off activities for this special day,” Anyangwe said.
Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation