Make Everyday a Mandela Day

For the first time, Life College and The Mandela Rhodes Foundation came together and created a leadership workshop for college students based on the life works of Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela: The Champion Within workshop was offered for free to the international students. Last Friday, Megan, Dane and I set out at 6:45 am to seek out the workshop. It took place at one of the five NMMU campuses about thirty minutes away. Upon arriving we were split up to different tables of ten students each to commence the workshop. The day was split into five different modules (classes) each with a different theme of: Mentality Mindset and Attitudes, Madiba &I, Madiba’s Catalysts; My Catalysts, Building My Principle-Centered Champion Mentality and Make Everyday a Mandela Day. Each module was taught by a different professor and was broken up into lectures, videos, guest speakers and discussion. Each lesson was either to be discussed among our tables, self reflection time, or volunteers came up and shared their ideas with the auditorium of 600 students.

“To listen well, is as powerful a means of influence as to talk well, and is as essential to all true conversation.” – Chinese Proverb.

It was a powerful day; a day of enlightenment, a day of learning, day of sharing, a day of respect. It was a day where 600 students from all over came together to share one common goal, to learn how to become better citizens of the world. We didn’t know each other. We didn’t know where we came from or what we believed in. But we learned to respect each other, to open our minds, to ask the hard questions, and respect the variety of answers. We debated, chanted, sang, listened and most importantly learned.

“I developed some inner strength and soon forgot about my difficulties and my poverty and suffering, my loneliness and frustrations.” – Nelson Mandela.

It starts with one, it starts with you. The first step is the hardest but it’s the most important. You can’t help others until you are content with yourself.

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Next up was the Red Backpackers Valentine’s Day bash.

A local backpacker (hostel) that we had visited on our city tour the previous week decided to hold a Valentine’s Day event to raise money for the community. The school chartered buses for us to attend safely. Filled with mostly international students it was an evening of praying, poetry, speeches, dancing, drumming, performances, local beer (made from corn) and cow head. It was an authentic night never to be forgotten. To share just a few of my favorite memories are these few photos:

The township mini soup kitchen

cow head…. it was really fatty

dancing township girls

Valentine’s Day bash

African dancing

and then Megan and I danced 🙂

So blessed to be in Africa 🙂

Erin

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