Mandela Day (Nelson Mandela International Day) is an international annual birthday celebration in honour of Nelson Mandela and officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009. It takes place on his birthday, the 18th of July, every year and the first official UN Mandela Day took place on the 18th July 2010, although some people starting celebrating it on his 91st birthday, the 18th July 2009.
There were concerts held called ‘46664 Concerts’ named after his prisoner number on Robben Island. One held in 2003 at Green Point Stadium was hosted by Nelson Mandela with the who’s who of music playing to raise awareness about HIV/Aids. Some of the artists that appeared were Anastacia, Brian May & Roger Taylor of Queen, Beyonce Knowles, Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, Bob Geldof, Eurythmics, Youssou N’Dor, Cat Stevens, Pater Gabriel, Bono & the Edge from U2, Johnny Clegg, Jimmy Cliff, The Corrs, Zucchero, and Ladysmith Black Mamba.
Another 46664 Concert followed in George, South Africa in 2005 and some of headliners were Annie Lennox, Katie Melua, and Paul Rodgers & Queen and was hosted by Will Smith.
Other 46664 concerts in 2005 were held in Madrid, Spain called the ‘46664 Festival Madrid’, and another in Tromsø, Norway which Nelson Mandela attended and addressed the audience.
The ‘46664 Concerts’ and the ‘Nelson Mandela Foundation’ invited support from the global community to support an official Mandela Day, not as a public holiday, but to honour the legacy of Madiba who was South Africa’s former president and his values asking the world community to help others through volunteers. It is a global ‘call to action’ with the idea that everyone has the power to change the world for the better.
The campaign message on Mandela Day is:
‘Nelson Mandela has fought for social justice for 67 years. We’re asking you to start with 67 minutes. We would be honoured if such a day can serve to bring together people around the world to fight poverty and promote peace and reconciliation’, said a statement issued on Nelson Mandela's behalf.
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