A Call To Wish Nelson Mandela a Happy Birthday (#Sing4Madiba)

A call has been made on the world to sing a special Happy Birthday song for former South African President Nelson Mandela on his 94th birthday. For those of you who did not know, Mandela celebrates his birthday on Wednesday the 18th of July. The day has been declared “International Mandela Day”. A call has been made on people around the globe to volunteer 67 minutes of their time for community service.

Lead SA, the Department of Basic Education and the Nelson Mandela Foundation supported by the Shout Foundation, Proudly South African and Brand SA have partnered to get the world to sing the song and do 67 minutes of service. The countdown to International Mandela Day started yesterday. There’s one month to go. There’s no doubt about it, the words ‘Mandela, Madiba and Tata’ unite South Africa and the world.

Madiba allows us to dream. He makes us believe in possibility. He undoubtedly unites us. Last year, Lead SA and the Department of Basic Education together with the Nelson Mandela Foundation united the voices of South Africa to sing Happy Birthday to Madiba on the 18th of July. Millions of school children and ordinary South Africans made this possible.

This year they decided to go even bigger. They are not only appealing to millions of people around the world to do 67 minutes of community service on July 18, but also to show how much they love him by singing a very special Happy Birthday song to him. On the 29th of May people gathered in their thousands at Nelson Mandela Square in Johannesburg to record the song. Lead SA’s Terry Volkwyn labelled the song as a call to action. He called Madiba’s legacy “one of active citizenship”.

The partners in this campaign have said that over the next month a number of plans have been put in place to rally the nation. The song was released yesterday and features a string of prominent artists and musicians, and its going viral. Vodacom has donated their infrastructure to provide a platform for citizens to download elements of the song. You can download the special happy birthday song by SMSing the word MADIBA to 44009. A return SMS will send you the link to download the audio. Standard VAS rates and data costs apply. Check out the “Sing for Madiba” Video below:

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Spread the song far and wide by all means possible: e-mail it, share it on Facebook, Twitter and all other socia l media platforms. The official Twitter hash-tag for the initiative is #Sing4Madiba and you are encouraged to use it from today onwards.

SA Rugby and the Springboks together with thousands of spectators will sing Happy Birthday to Madiba at the test match in Port Elizabeth on this week Saturday (the 23rd of June 2012), during halftime. Sport Minister, Fikile Mbalula and SARU’s vice-president, Mark Alexandra will join in the singing. Football fans will also be getting involved and will be able to participate. Fans will sing Happy Birthday to Madiba ahead of matches on the Mandela Day 18 July and also on Saturday 21 July in Durban and Cape Town respectively when local teams take on Manchester United.

Scores of organisations and companies are supporting the initiative. Some of them are The British High Commission and other embassies, the JSE, WITS University, Tsogo Sun an AON SA. They will be mobilising to sing Happy Birthday on the Day also. Various government departments have pledged their support. Another massive boost for the initiative is Multichoice who have come on board and have pledged to play the recording on all their channels at 8 AM on Mandela Day. They have also invited foreign representatives in our countries to assist in getting 67+ countries, or 94+ countries, to join the initiative and sing Happy Birthday to Madiba at 8 AM – their local time and also to get their nationals to do 67 minutes of community service. In addition to the support from the local media the organizers are calling on the foreign media to embrace the call to action.

The Department of Basic Education will again have more than 12-million children and teachers’ voices. They have also engaged with other government departments and corporate South Africa to come on board and support the campaign including the 94+ school adoption project.

To give you some incentive to sing, here are the words of the song:

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday Dear Madiba,
Happy Birthday to you.
We love you Tata,
We love you Tata,
We love you Dear Madiba,
Happy Birthday to you.

So, there you have it, #Sing4Madiba this month and on the 18th of July 2012! Wish him a Happy 94th Birthday!

Watch this space for regular updates in the Events category on Running Wolf’s Rant.

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Henno Kruger
Blogger, Desktop Activist, Twitter / Facebook Addict, Music Festival Addict, Avid lover of South African music, Founder and owner of Running Wolf's Rant and co-founder of SA Music Zone

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  • so lekker to hear some happy news from SA for a change… Will definitely be wishing the legend that is Madiba a happy happy one next month!!

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