ACTIVATE Mandela Day

By: Esihle Dayimani

As we were celebrating International Nelson Mandela Day on the 18th July 2021, ACTIVATE! took part in 3 virtual events which go in hand with the monthly theme #AdaptAndDigitize.

We kicked off the day with Activator Lindelani Mnisi who blew us away his knowledge of the digital world. On a daily basis, we are glued to our mobile devices scrolling through the different social media platforms for the latest news and trends. However, do we truly understand the power of these digital tools and how it has made our lives easier, faster, and more fun? Lindelani managed to break it down for us in the simplest form.

Modern technology has become our daily bread and as much as it connects us to the world easier, we are exposing our personal lives to potential investors and employers through social media. Social media has become a verification tool for employers and potential investors to view your personal or business brand and most surprisingly, your behaviour. Lindelani continues to narrate how the Covid-19 pandemic, has also forced educational institutions to shift from traditional classrooms to virtual reality. The shift has also forced these institutions to invest in digital infrastructure for long-term use. Sadly, this has exposed the inequality in the education system and thus opened a knowledge gap between the rural and the urban learners. Digitalization allows flexibility in personal time and management, which also requires discipline. The fear of 4IR has truly reduced in the country and citizens are starting to see the impact digitalization has made in their lives the past year. It���s time we invested more time on digital tools gain more knowledge and skills.

Virtual platforms have also been used as a tool to engage on topics which have been pushed aside in Black communities. Selokela Molamodi blessed us with a Zoom session themed Fatherhood which unpacked the struggles of being a father in our modern society. These weekly Zoom sessions called #RingaNamajita provides men with the platform to share their life experiences in our communities. As we all know, Nelson Mandela was not physically present with his daughters, but he always made means of being part of their lives. In this session, our brothers managed to share their own life experiences on fatherhood and what it means to be ���present���. Panelist Lebohang raised our eyebrows on what it means to be a ���present’ father: ���I grew up being taught how to survive, but my son is surrounded by love as he has been brought up with love – we watch how he forms his personality and empathy���.

Being positive role models around our children means we need to live by our values in front of our children; being mindful of our behaviors. Young fathers are trying very hard not to repeat the mistakes their fathers made, but also came to realization that they are not perfect but are growing with their children in this journey of fatherhood. Being present has allowed them to build stronger and more sustainable relationships with their children and be positive role models. Themba from Father a Nation also shared the role their organization plays in encouraging mentorship amongst men in the community. Men need guidance and assistance when it comes to patriarchal roles in a relationship and the society. It is thus imperative to encourage men���s forums and subject experts to assist men in being open and vulnerable with their experiences, using their own voices instead of being represented by women. The panelists managed to share their fears and their appreciation for the Fatherhood journey. #RingaNamajita sessions will be on a weekly basis please look out for them on the ACTIVATE! website.

Nelson Mandela was a man who found joy in music and took pride in South African music. Our final event for the day was hosted by Activator Mordecai Ndlovu who blessed us with poetry and music, broadcasted on Norkem Radio. The African drums and instruments really represented the rich culture and was celebratory for our late former President as he truly appreciated Africanism through his Mandela Shirts and Signature Dance. The harmony in the sounds also represented the livelihood of our country and its citizens.

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