Wednesday, 27 June 2012


A call has been made on the world to sing a special Happy Birthday song for former President Nelson Mandela on his 94th birthday and volunteer 67 minutes of their time for community service.

The international icon celebrates his birthday on Wednesday, 18 July. The day has been declared "International Mandela Day".

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 has started - there is one month to go. The words 'Mandela, Madiba and Tata' unite our nation and the world.

"We have been called to action by our former President, our interactional icon, our elder statesman, our hero, our leader and the father of the nation - who has given so selflessly of himself through personal sacrifice and a profound amount of heart, compassion, reconciliation and forgiveness," said Lead SA's Yusuf Abramjee, speaking at the launch of the Happy Birthday song at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg.

"Madiba allows us to dream. He makes us believe in possibility. He undoubtedly unites us," said Abramjee.

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 July 18. Millions of school children and ordinary South Africans made this possible.

"This year we decided to go even bigger," said Abramjee.

On Tuesday, 29 May, people gathered in their thousands at Nelson Mandela Square in Johannesburg to record the song.

Over the next month, a number of plans have been put in place to rally the nation.

The song features a string of prominent artists and musicians. It is going viral and the video of the recording is also available on You Tube. Search for "Sing for Madiba."  The official hash-tag for the initiative is #Sing4Madiba and people are encouraged to use it from today onwards.