THOUSANDS of spectators who attend this weekend’s rugby test match in Port Elizabeth will sing a special happy birthday to ex-president Nelson Mandela, who turns 94 next month.
The world icon’s birthday is on July 18, and the day has been declared International Mandela Day.
Lead SA, the Department of Basic Education, the Nelson Mandela Foundation supported by the Shout Foundation, Proudly South African and Brand SA have partnered to get the country to celebrate the milestone by singing and doing 67 minutes of community service. Lead SA’s Yusuf Abramjee said SA Rugby, the Springboks and the thousands of spectators would sing Happy Birthday to Madiba at the match on Saturday at half-time.
"This is an amazing platform to leverage support from our sporting fraternity. Our Minister of Sport, Fikile Mbalula, and Saru’s vice-president Mark Alexandra will join us on the field. We will share the recording virally. SuperSport will be recording it and also screening it,” he said.
Abramjee said all the preparations had been made and radio and television personality Jeremy Mansfield as well as singers Danny K and Kabelo would spur on the crowds to sing.
He said the video of the song would be played in order to prepare South Africans for July 18 when the entire country would be asked to sing for Madiba.
Abramjee said: "Whether you are at home, in your car, in the street, in a factory or office or at school at 8am on July 18, take a minute and sing the special song.
"But most of all it is about calling each and every citizen to action. Do your 67 minutes of community service on the day. In fact, do more if you can – make every day a Mandela Day.”
He said anyone could download the song by SMSing the word MADIBA to 44009. A return SMS will send you the link to download the audio. Standard rates and data costs apply.
The video of the recording is also available on YouTube. Search for "Sing for Madiba”. One can also go to www.singformadiba.com to download the video and audio.
You can get to see the Boks in action before Saturday’s clash at a tag rugby clinic at the Gelvandale Stadium between 4pm and 5pm tomorrow.