Annually, July is set aside to celebrate the life, times and legacies of Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black President and undoubtedly one the best leaders Africa ever had, in South Africa and around the world. Essentially, the month avails everyone the opportunity to heed the call to action and to take time to reflect on Mandela’s values, virtues and principles and to make a positive impact on their communities.
On July 1, 2023, Brand South Africa kicked off the celebration of “Nelson Mandela Month ’’ with an engagement with South Africans living in or visiting Nigeria as well as friends of South Africa in Nigeria. The celebration took place in partnership with the South African Consulate in Lagos, Nigeria and South African Tourism under the theme, “Celebrating Nelson Mandela Month and South Africa’s Inspiring Mementoes since the Dawn of Democracy’’.
Inside Watch Africa (IWA) recalls that Mandela’s Presidency spanned May 1994 to June 1999. An anti-apartheid activist, lawyer and political prisoner had caught the picture of a selfless and humane leader while he held sway as president by shunning the lure of life presidency common to African leaders. He only served only one term. He died on December 5, 2013, at the age of 95 after a prolonged respiratory infection.
This was in line with the Global South Africans programme which is a flagship programme of Brand South Africa that aims to acknowledge and celebrate thousands of South Africans who are exemplary citizens in the world and therefore brand advocates for the positive positioning of the Nation Brand abroad.
These South Africans are those who have continued to play important roles in helping to realise the promise South Africa demonstrated in the “miracle” of 1994 and the National Development Plan (Vision 2030).
Going by the very active role Nigeria played in fighting the apartheid regime in South Africa and the fact that the country is a strategic partner to South Africa, Brand South Africa is said to be poised to encourage cultural exchanges between South Africans in Nigeria and Nigerians who have been identified as friends of South Africa due to their interest in South Africa.
According to Jimmy Ranamane, General Manager, Global Markets at Brand South Africa who led the Brand South Africa team to Nigeria for the celebration; Friends of South Africa are citizens from other nationalities who have either lived, worked, visited, or invested in South Africa.
Jimmy said: “Global South Africans are those who give the world first-hand experience of who South Africans are, what they are capable of and what the country is and has to offer. Brand South Africa deems it important to acknowledge those individuals and organizations that are contributing to building and promoting a Nation Brand that not only inspires its people but is also admired globally”.
The engagement was aimed at providing an opportunity to remind South Africans of home, encourage them to celebrate their unique heritage and identity with their host country as well and continue to fly the South African flag high.
About Brand South Africa
Brand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation and to improve its global competitiveness. One of its primary objectives is also to create pride and patriotism among South Africans as well as contribute to social cohesion and national brand ambassadorship.
About the Global South African Network
Brand South Africa recently launched the Global South African campaign with the conviction that South Africans all over the world are priceless resources for South Africa as they strive to position the country as a global player in an increasingly competitive world.
South Africans living or travelling abroad will very often be the first point of contact and reference for people overseas, whose perceptions and decisions may have a profound impact on the attractiveness and competitiveness of South Africa.
These Global South Africans can show the world what South Africans are made of, why South Africa is worth investing in and partnering with and how South Africans can help find creative solutions to the whole gamut of the world’s problems — from poverty to climate change to violent conflict.
By becoming part of the GSA network, the Global South African is committed to being a “brand ambassador” for South Africa. This shows the person’s belief in South Africa, his or her love for the country and the willingness to help build an inclusive economy and a socially cohesive nation.