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Ndaba Mandela Visits TKBGC

Published July 08, 2016 20:12

Source Justin Skinner is a reporter with the City Centre Mirror - jskinner@insidetoronto.com .

Ndaba Mandela’s Africa Rising Foundation promoting empowerment and pride in young people.

Nelson Mandela’s impressive life and incredible legacy has cast a long shadow – one his grandson, Ndaba Mandela, is looking to live up to.

Ndaba Mandela, 33, is in Canada for the first time. As part of his visit, he dropped by the Toronto Kiwanis Boys & Girls Club at 101 Spruce Street in Cabbagetown Monday, July 4, answering questions from youngsters alongside Whitby MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes, Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Mandela spoke of his early days growing up in South Africa when apartheid was still in effect – rules which led to his grandfather spending nearly three decades in prison for speaking out against the racist and segregationist policies.

“As a black person, you couldn’t live next to a white person, you couldn’t use the same bus as a white person, you couldn’t use the same tap as a white person, you had to play on a separate playground,” he said. “Black people weren’t allowed to do the same things that white people were allowed to do, so the environment was quite tense. A lot of people were angry, there was a lot of fighting happening.”

Things improved, Mandela noted, with the release of his grandfather from prison and a string of reforms that saw apartheid abolished.

To keep his continent moving forward, Mandela has started the Africa Rising Foundation, which aims to promote Africa, showcasing it in a positive light and promoting empowerment and pride for its young people.

“People have a very limited knowledge of Africa, or a skewed image of Africa,” he told the youngsters. “I wanted to start the Africa Rising Foundation to start showing people a balanced view of Africa – not just the bad things they see and hear on the news, but some of the good things that people are doing in Africa.”

He acknowledged there is still work to be done in Africa to ensure children and youth are empowered, which is why he aims to get today’s youth active in helping make Africa – and the world – a better place.

“By the time I’m 80 years old, they’ll be 40 years old, 30 years old, 20 years old,” he said. “That’s why I need to make sure the work that we do is mainly focused on the young people so they can continue the work way after we’re gone.”

Mandela noted his famous grandfather cast a long shadow, adding “he was the first one to put pressure on me.”

For him…leadership was not about showing off, leadership was about serving the people,” he said. “It’s about helping those people that are weaker than you, that are smaller.

“It’s about helping others; that’s what leaders do.”

Caesar-Chavannes spoke of the importance of Nelson Mandela’s legacy.

“What Mandela did wasn’t just for black people, it wasn’t just for men, it was for all people,” she said. “And it’s true when they say an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

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