“It always seems impossible until it’s done,” those were the words expressed by Global Citizen and the former President of South Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Marking the 100th Celebrations of the late South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, the South Africa High Commission in collaboration with the University of the South Pacific had organised Mandela Day Celebrations at Laucala Campus in Suva on the 18th of July. The event’s Chief Guest, Chief Justice Anthony Gates graced the programme with an address, followed by a panel discussion comprising of youths, academics and a retired solider.
This year’s theme being “Be The Legacy – How Can We Do Something Good Everyday, In Order To Change The World For The Better?” The Mandela Day Campaign is a celebration of our collective power to create a global movement for good and make a positive impact on the World. The Day was a call to everyone to make the World a better place.
Speaking at the Centennial Celebrations was Fiji Youth Prime Minister, Youth Advocate and President of Ignite4Change, Broderick Mervyn.
“Indeed, I wish to acknowledge the South Africa High Commission as well as the University of the South Pacific on the success of Mandela Day and for giving me the opportunity to speak about the life’s work of Mandela and how he has impacted me as a leader.”
Mr. Mervyn had stated that youths could make the world a better place by just being the person that the public would like to meet, to talk to because youths are the hope and future of this nation, Fiji. He further emphasised on how people should not rest on the accomplishments of the past, even the accomplishments of those as historic as Mandela’s.
“There are many young people out there, those hope carriers are gathering around the world. Mandela’s message is not only to the young but for everyone – keep believing, keep marching, keep building, keep raising your voice. Every generation has the opportunity to remake the world.”
Eremasi Narawa, an attendee of the event and a member of Ignite4Change expressed on Mandela’s exemplary life and that the virtues and principles Mandela adopted could be applicable to our societies today.
“Indeed, how does a man who spent 27 years in prison, put there by an oppressor and come out of that experience with not a heart of stone but a heart that was willing to forgive and embrace; only Nelson Mandela could have done that,” he added.
Today is the time to make a change. We don’t need one leader, we don’t need one inspiration, what we badly need right now is that collective spirit.
Stick to what’s true if you know what’s in your heart, and you’re willing to sacrifice for it, even in the face of overwhelming odds, that it might not happen tomorrow, it might not happen in the next week, it might not even happen in your lifetime. Things may go backwards for a while, but ultimately, right makes might, not the other way around, eventually, the better story can win out and as strong as Mandela’s spirit may have been, he would not have sustained that Hope had he been alone in the struggle, part of sustained him up was that he knew that each year, the ranks of freedom fighters were refilling, young men and women, not only in his country but across the countryside, across the continent, around the world, who in those most difficult days would keep working on behalf of his vision. Make that vision your vision today – to make the world a better place to live in.