As a result of the lockdown we were unable to go out into the communities to celebrate Madiba’s birthday on the scale we’ve grown accustomed to. Instead, our four centres in Alexandra, Diepsloot, Braamfontein and Orange Farm displayed the artistic skills of our young people by drawing and painting the image of former president Nelson Mandela.
According to 16-year-old artist, Jessica Kekana from Alexandra, “Mandela Day it is a very important day to us. We are celebrating Mandela Day through showcasing our arts skills. We believe that through art we can convey a strong message and also express our feelings”.
To celebrate Mandela Day five young people from Wings of Life in Diepsloot painted portraits of how they imagine Nelson Mandela in a time of COVID-19. Inspired by the departed statesman, the young people focused their messages on how they believe he would have handled the pandemic and eased the anxiety of the people of South Africa. “If Tata Nelson Mandela was here he was going to inspire us to keep moving even in trying times as we are facing a pandemic of a virus and GBV,” said Bonolo Moshia from Diepsloot. “He was going to remind us of who we are as a nation and how we can work together to fight the current situation we are facing.”
Similarly, Nkululeko Majola a grade 7 learner from Orange Farm stated “on my painting Nelson Mandela reminds us that we are supposed to love one another and we are supposed to fight the Coronavirus together.”
The event proved that there are many different ways to celebrate Madiba and that although he may be perceived slightly differently to everyone, his warmth, compassion and commitment to give back remain constant.