‘Mandela looks up and around and smiles this brilliant, beatific smile, a smile that could break your heart. It is the most conscience-tugging, soul-moving facial expression in the world, and he got it in jail.’
– AA GIll
It says much that the late travel writer AA Gill, beloved for his honest, provocative and caustic writing style, should have written such a heartfelt tribute to the late Nelson Mandela, for gushy tributes from Gill were rare. But then Mandela, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday on July 18, was a giant amongst men, who showed that forgiveness on a grand scale is possible. It was this that Gill alluded to when he said: ‘He came out 27 years later with this miraculous face, molded and creased by injustice into a transcendent African mask, this expression that spoke every language.’
Despite his passing in 2013, Mandela has remained a global icon, a man whose profound and powerful legacy of tolerance and inclusivity is recognized the world over. So, while July 18 has been marked annually around the world, on the occasion of his 100th birthday the United Nations have set the day aside as a day on which the world will commemorate Mandela’s birth and his contribution to social justice. It’s a poignant step at a time when these values are being challenged globally. We fully support this initiative and the UN’s call for ‘all individuals to use this day to make a difference in their communities.’ ROAR AFRICA’s founding principles were to contribute to saving our wildlife, wild spaces and to provide as many jobs for women in the tourism sector in Africa as possible. We will continue to make a difference in the work that we do to empower the women in Africa and continue raising awareness around education and the importance of tourism.
This week will see a number of activities kicking off to commemorate Mandela’s birth and we’re excited to be attending Barack Obama’s flagship speech in Johannesburg, with Kweku Mandela. Obama’s speech, entitled: Renewing the Mandela Legacy and Promoting Active Citizenship in a Changing World, promises to be the most important public address since Obama left the White House in 2017. We’ll keep you posted on activities via our social media, watch it live here
In celebration of Nelson Mandela’s birth, we’ve created a very special itinerary that retraces the steps of a man who was one of the world’s greatest leaders. Our bespoke journey will reveal the life and times of a political hero who entered prison a ‘man at war’ and who walked free some 27 years later the leader of a country, an international statesman, and a philanthropist. For more information, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org