Madiba’s legacy will live on

South African celebrities re­veal plans to hon­our the great man

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - SAMEER NAIK

I’M VERY happy to be per­form­ing with Johnny Clegg and the Soweto Gospel Choir to­day at an event which salutes Nel­son Man­dela.

We were for­tu­nate to get the chance to meet Man­dela. What very few peo­ple knew is that he was ex­tremely funny. He had such a great sense of hu­mour. The day we met him he asked us if he could join the band and we of­fered him a po­si­tion as our drum­mer. He said that al­though he couldn’t play drums, he was happy to learn. He meant a lot to me and to the band, and I wish he was still around. His mes­sage and legacy will al­ways live on. my goal. I en­tered the pageants. I en­tered a few pageants and won and even­tu­ally I was in­vited to meet Man­dela. I flew to Joburg from Dur­ban with my mom and my ex­pe­ri­ence with him is some­thing I will never for­get. He in­spired and mo­ti­vated me with his pos­i­tive en­ergy and just be­ing in his pres­ence. I will for­ever be grate­ful for the op­por­tu­nity. am driv­ing around Jo­han­nes­burg be­tween shoots, meet­ings and ap­point­ments on Mon­day.

I was never lucky enough to meet Nel­son Man­dela, but his phi­los­o­phy of equal­ity, em­pow­er­ment, ed­u­ca­tion, for­give­ness and love are the pil­lars that I try to build my life around.

I will be work­ing with Jam (Joint Aid Man­age­ment) and KFC, help­ing them pack food and good­ies for those less priv­i­leged.

I met Nel­son Man­dela twice when I was a kid. He al­ways made a spe­cial ef­fort to walk over to where our fam­ily was to greet us. He had an in­fec­tious smile and he treated the most in­signif­i­cant per­sons with great re­spect – some­thing I have al­ways en­deav­oured to em­u­late.

I will be help­ing out at the dog shel­ter in Van­cou­ver. My per­sonal in­ter­est lies in an­i­mals and their well-be­ing, so 67 min­utes of my time ded­i­cated to them would be an hon­our.

Man­dela was a great leader with a beau­ti­ful vi­sion of uni­fy­ing peo­ple.

I never had the op­por­tu­nity to meet him, but I have heard won­der­ful sto­ries of his charm and hu­mour and am al­most cer­tain I would have been left with a deeper sense of grat­i­tude and com­pas­sion for peo­ple af­ter spend­ing time with him.

We’re do­ing an ac­ti­va­tion at a school in Soweto with the Clif­fCen­tral team. We would have loved to ac­tu­ally meet him (Man­dela).

I will be in Kigali, Rwanda, on Mon­day, fa­cil­i­tat­ing a di­a­logue with First Ladies of Africa. It’s the 17th Or­di­nary Gen­eral Assem­bly of OAFLA.

Meet­ing for­mer pres­i­dent Man­dela was like com­ing face to face with God. Among the many oc­ca­sions I in­ter­acted with Tata, my mo­ment was when he was host­ing tra­di­tional lead­ers in Mgqeshe, East­ern Cape and I was in­vited to speak about the role these lead­ers can play in min­imis­ing the rate of new HIV in­fec­tions.

I am sched­uled to be on set un­for­tu­nately, but later in the week I plan to go and as­sist with clean-up drives and do­na­tions at Lake­haven Child and Youth­care Cen­tre that saw tragedy this week. There was a fire, and eight peo­ple died. Man­dela was a gi­ant, an om­nipres­ence whose name and spirit will echo through the ages. He left the im­por­tant and lib­er­at­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity and mes­sage – which is to love, pro­tect and fight for this coun­try, its peo­ple and its legacy.

An­drew and Brian Chap­lin

Chris Japhta

Criselda Kananda

Ross Learmonth

Min­nie Dlamini

Ste­vie French

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