In marking the International Nelson Mandela Day on Sunday, 18 July 2020, was a bitter sweet occasion. The day came a few days after the passing away of Ambassador Zindziswa “Zindzi” Mandela, the daughter of the late struggle icon Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. This year the world is also battling the COVID-19 outbreak which has taken many lives and left a lot of communities vulnerable.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation encourages everybody to mark this day; to engage in activities that inspire change; to make a difference to someone, or a community that needs it most. Accordingly, the South African High Commission and the South African ICAO office in Montreal partnered with Food for Thought, a non-profit organization, and Joe Thottungal, the award-winning chef and owner of Ottawa’s Coconut Lagoon and Thali restaurants, and provided a meal to communities temporarily housed in establishments without adequate cooking facilities in and around Ottawa. The South African diaspora was represented by Mr Tim Askew who – with the rest of the team – worked tirelessly to make Nelson Mandela Day a success.
18 July was officially declared the International Nelson Mandela Day by the United Nations in November 2009. The day honours the legacy of Nelson Mandela who spent 67 years of his life fighting for justices and for human rights.