Mandela Day: 27 Gifts in Honour of Madiba’s Legacy

Make Every Day a Mandela Day.

I love that South Africa has embraced the 18th of July, Nelson Mandela’s birth date, as an annual celebration of service in honour of his legacy. Many donate “67 minutes” of their time and resources to commemorate the 67 years that Madiba fought for justice. The premise behind this day is to recognise that starting with only 67 minutes can make a difference. Each person has the ability to make a positive impact whether big or small. It reminds me of one of my favourite quotes of my childhood heroine, Anne Frank. She said, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.

Nelson Mandela

This year, I have decided to give 27 gifts during July, in memory of the 27 years that Madiba spent in prison.

A few years ago, a therapy client discovered a book in her local library by Cami Walker, “29 Gifts: How a month of giving can change your life. Walker, after being diagnosed with a chronic illness, had been given the uncommon “prescription” from a South African healer (coincidentally!), Mbali Creazzo, to give away 29 gifts in 29 days to experience the transformative and healing power of giving and the act of kindness.

My client found this approach to be profoundly meaningful in her life and every now and then when she needs to gain perspective at times of stress, she will start her 29 gifts cycle. The gifts don’t need to be monetary; they can be a letter of encouragement, a cooked meal or an unexpected call. Walker reminds us that the idea is to be spontaneous and not to beat yourself up if you miss a day.

You may think me a slacker for dropping 2 gifts off Walker’s list (!) but I’ll make sure that my 27 gifts this month are thoughtful and intentional.

Let’s make every day a Mandela Day.