#MandelaLWTF: join the conversation

29 November 2013

With Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom now on in cinemas across South Africa and the United States, people have been urged to see the movie and join in the conversation on taking Nelson Mandela’s legacy forward using the hashtag #MandelaLWTF.

Radio disc jockey and television personality Gareth Cliff with #HandsAcrossSA, together with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and cinema chain Ster Kinekor, have established a social media hub for the film-going public to engage “in the spirit of true dialogue”.

Every tweet, Facebook update and Instagram post using the hashtag #MandelaLWTF will be collected in the social media hub on www.garethcliff.com, “where everyone can be part of the discussion and inspire a global movement,” the Nelson Mandel Foundation said on Tuesday

“This campaign is about living the legacy, allowing dialogue to flourish and creating a springboard for positive engagement and change,” the foundation’s chief executive, Sello Hatang, said in a statement.

Hatang said the ending of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom was “a powerful call to action for what we need to do as South Africans and indeed the world. What this represents and signals is the handing over of the baton of leadership. Madiba said: ‘It is time for new hands to lift the burdens. It is in your hands now’.”

This year’s Nelson Mandela International Day, celebrated on Madiba’s 95th birthday on 18 July, saw the launch of Hands Across South Africa (#HandsAcrossSA) when Gareth Cliff invited everyone to join hands at 08h45 for 67 seconds as a gesture of unity and commitment to making South Africa a better place. This became the top trending topic on Twitter, with photos being posted from across South Africa.

“It may not seem like much, but a simple, symbolic action can manifest very powerful consequences and feelings,” Cliff said. “At very least they can be the beginning of something that can (in the modern lingo) ‘go viral’ and start a movement.

“This social media hub for #MandelaLWTF will become a living archive of people’s thoughts, interactions and photographs.”

The Nelson Mandela Foundation said that discourse and active engagement was “fundamental to the legacy of Madiba and to South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy.

“[Mandela] based his entire life on this principle and on the art of listening and speaking to others; it is also the art of getting others to listen and speak to each other. It is a vital instrument for addressing critical social issues, and the most effective vehicle for sharing memory, for growing it, and for engaging it in the promotion of social justice.”

SAinfo reporter