Mandela Day 2017

Nelson Mandela International Day was first celebrated in 2009, after the idea was inspired the year before at his 90th birthday celebrations held in London’s Hyde Park.

Since then, this annual event has been held on 18th July, Mandela’s birthday and commemorates the lifetime of service he gave to South Africa and the world. Each year, organisations and individuals worldwide are asked to give 67 minutes of their time to make a difference to the lives of others, something Mandela believed determines the significance of the life we lead. Those 67 minutes reflect the number of years he spent in public service.

South African wineries and organisations have made their own plans to make a difference in the lives of others on this day.

Wines of South Africa will be visiting Athlone House of Strength in Paarl (, a shelter for abused women and children. Here, the team will hand out toiletries and sanitary packs to the ladies, while a party is being organised for the children.

Pebbles Project (, an NGO working with children and families in the Winelands farming communities, focuses its work on education. For Mandela Day, they have invited all their supporters to join them in knitting mittens to keep the children’s hands warm during winter. The knitting kit costs just R67; alternatively, the same sum buys a pair of mittens or, for warm feet, a pair of boots.

Creation Wines’ efforts will also benefit Pebbles, in this case Pebbles Hemel en Aarde Education project. During the school holidays they will be helping to install the learning laboratory; once this is up and running, it will enable remote learning with their teachers for children living in remote areas.

Way over in Franschhoek, the team from La Bri acknowledge the day is all about supporting the children in their local community, specifically the 35 children at The Little Dolphin crèche. Coming from poorer households, these children are often without necessary items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap and facecloths; these will be supplied by members of La Bri, who will also prepare lunch for the youngsters and spend time with them.

This is just a taste of what organisations and producers within the wine industry will be doing today, Mandela Day 2017; all will be doing their best to make a difference in the lives of others who live and work in the Cape winelands.

-Angela Lloyd