Mandela Day


One can become despondent by the enormity of challenges that just do not seem to dissipate. Robert Steiner reminded me that the opposite of hope is not despair. For it is in hope that we can deal with our despair. We live with despair while we hope. We hope because we believe that the world does not have to be and stay the way it is. We do not have to fear the future because we keep on hoping, keep on showing small acts of kindness. It is in doing , that we are hoping. We hope in the face of despair and adversity.

The United Nations introduced Mandela Day in 2010, as an international day to do small acts of kindness. It is a day in honour of the legacy of Nelson Mandela, the first democratically elected president of South Africa. Around the world, we come together to fight poverty and promote peace, reconciliation and cultural diversity through volunteering and community service. Our 67 minutes of action in the hopes of transforming the world, reminds us that we have so much to give every year. It also reminds us to celebrate all the other 67 minutes of giving and acts of kindness throughout the year.

Professor Russel Botman was a serious supporter of Mandela Day as an expression of the power of kindness in hope. The Russel Botman Bursary Fund at Stellenbosch University would like to call on all of us to donate to the Fund as an act of kindness towards the youth – theirs and our collective future through education. Our small acts of kindness afford students bursary opportunities. Together we can change the world: small act of kindness, by small act of kindness.