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Updated: Jul 19, 2021

The 18th of July marks Mandela Day, a global call to action to celebrate and act on our collective power as active citizens to change the world we live in for the better.

"Nelson Mandela has fought for social justice for 67 years. We're asking you to start with 67 minutes. We would be honoured if such a day can serve to bring together people around the world to fight poverty and promote peace, reconciliation and cultural diversity." -The Nelson Mandela Foundation

This year, in honour of Mandela Day, the Axium AmaJingqi PSP team travelled to the homestead of Zimasa’s grandmother. Itayi Nyakudya, one of the Axium AmaJingqi PSP team members shared some of the experience:

The young girl, Zimasa, who is now wheel-chair bound, was befallen by misfortune when at her tender age, she was diagnosed with brain cancer. She has multiple incisions on her head due to the operation and chemotherapy that she has been undergoing. One of the additional difficulties of her situation is the fact that Zimasa has been unable to continue with her schooling because of her condition.

The Axium AmaJingqi PSP Team singled out this vibrant young girl and set forth to make her feel loved and appreciated, an initiative which was carried out on Thursday the 18th of July 2019.

The process involved an initial team visit to Zimasa’s house at her grandmother’s homestead situated in the serene village of Nquba in rural Willowvale. There, the team was greeted by a jovial and talkative Zimasa, as well as her grandmother. The team sought the young girl’s grandmother’s permission to observe National Mandela Day with Zimasa. A plan was then set in motion that the 67 minutes in honour of Nelson Mandela would be spent at the school that Zimasa used to attend. As luck would have it, the staff at the school had the same plan in mind, and therefore had no misgivings about hosting the Axium Education PSP Team, with Zimasa in attendance. The plan was set in motion. Zimasa was to have the experience of re-connecting with her former classmates and school teachers.

One of the greatest highlights was Zimasa’s excitement when she saw her classmates enter the classroom. Zimasa’s excitement lit up the room and set the mood for the day. The mood only increased when her friends broke into spontaneous song which Zimasa joined in. Outside of this, the school had arranged various groups of performances and as each group took to the makeshift stage, the teachers, Axium team, Zimasa’s granny and other learners ululated, stomped their feet and clapped together with the group of entertainers.

The team of Nobalisas took Zimasa and the rest of the learners through songs, games and puzzles which sealed off the occasion, making it an experience to treasure.

If you would like to learn more about the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and how you can be a part of social justice work in your communities, check out the Nelson Mandela Foundation website or read more about the launch of the next 10 years of the initiative.

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