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International Nelson Mandela Day
International Nelson Mandela Day is celebrated on 18 July annually. It is also called Mandela Day. The day is commemorated to honour Nelson Mandela and his efforts to put an end for racism in South Africa. The first Nelson Mandela Day was observed on 18 July 2009 on the eve of Mandela’s birthday. However, the United Nations officially declared Mandela Day in November 2009.
Rolihlahla Mandela was born on 18 July 1918 in South Africa. He attended a school, where his teacher gave him the name Nelson, following the custom of giving all schoolchildren “Christian” names. He completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of South Africa. Mandela was a very active person in politics and joined the “African National Congress”. He worked incessantly to free South Africa from racism.
Nelson Mandela emerged as a leader of the movement against apartheid and spent 27 years in prison. Eventually, his dream came true and put an end to apartheid in South Africa. In 1994, he became the first democratically elected President and served till 1999. He expired in Johannesburg on 5 December 2013.
In 1993 Nelson Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the then President of South Africa FW de Klerk. In 1999, Mandela established The Nelson Mandela Foundation soon after stepping down as the President of South Africa. The foundation focused on various issues like education, health, peace and reconciliation. In 2020, the Nelson Mandela Foundation is directing its Mandela Day efforts on education, food and nutrition.
Mandela Day 2020 is focused on action against poverty since many people lost their income source due to the lockdowns imposed by Governments to contain COVID-19.