Celebrating Africa Day. Nelson Mandela Centennial Celebration (1918-2018)

CAPE TOWN by Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela: We send greetings and felicitations in this Nelson Mandela Centennial Celebration Year to all the governments, traditional leaders and peoples of every country on this continent. Africa Day reminds us of our historic struggle for a united, integrated Africa in which we can – as one Africa – speak with one voice. We also recommit ourselves to the vision that our hero of the African continent President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela described in his first address to the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa on 24 May 1994: “Tomorrow, on Africa Day, the dream of Ingrid Jonker will come to fruition. The child grown to a man will trek through all Africa. The child grown to a man will journey over the whole world – without a pass!”

As Africans, we hold it in our own hands to fulfill the destiny and potential of this continent to be truly great by eradicating poverty, under-development and all the remnants of our colonial past. Then perhaps we can once again value the role that our ancestors, traditional leaders and all our people played in the resistance to colonialism and as a rallying point for the liberation struggles on the continent.

We are cognisant that despite much progress in this regard the ramifications of colonialism have been far-reachin, decimating traditional values and governance structures, alienating people from the land and resources of our continent, and resulting in widespread and endemic poverty characterized by low skills levels and lack of access to capital. This is the daily grind for many if not most of the continent’s people.

The process of decolonising Africa is yet incomplete as the last colony, Western Sahara, awaits the implementation of UN Resolutions on self-determination and upholding the human rights of the Sahrawi people. This process is being held captive by an intransigent Morocco that has seen many Sahrawi’s displaced in a diaspora not unlike the plight of the Palestinians. Many Sahrawis are incarcerated in the occupied territories and horrid reports of torture and abuse abound. It is no surprise that Apartheid Israel continues to play a role in supporting Morocco as it has done since the 1980s, supplying military hardware, training and intelligence. We must as a continent take full responsibility to bring an end to this last illegal occupation of a country on  African soil, in the sovereign state of Western Sahara.

As a continent we must also speak as one voice in condemning the brutal Apartheid Israel killing machine that has butchered innocent men, women and children over the past few weeks for no crime other than a peaceful protest demanding their right of return to the land of their birth. On this Africa Day we ask the United Nations and the world what crime have these six million Palestinians committed that they should be denied thew right to return to their homes. Our own bitter, painful and difficult struggle for liberation must drive us as a formidable force for international solidarity and as post-liberation advocates for human rights.

South Africans must always remain vigilant to this historic task, never more so than when we celebrate Africa Day, the day on which our new flag was hoisted in an historic ceremony at the OAU Headquarters in Addis Ababa in 1994 after our acceptance by the OAU as its then-newest member.

Viewed through the lens of our historic task, the value of Madiba’s prophetic words on the eve of Africa Day 1994 are a call to action: “The time will come when our nation will honour the memory of all the sons, the daughters, the mothers, the fathers, the youth and the children who, by their thoughts and deeds, gave us the right to assert with pride that we are South Africans, that we are Africans and that we are citizens of the world,” he said.

Nkosi Zwelivelile
Royal House of Mandela
Mvezo Komkhulu
P.O. Box 126
Viedgesville, 5102
Eastern Cape Province
South Africa



We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.


Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?