Category Archives: Nelson Mandela International Day

United Nations Celebrate Mandela’s Life and Legacy in Yaounde

At a moment when Cameroon is going through difficult security issues and social unrest, when the English speaking regions are manifesting their grievances of marginalization by the Central Government in Yaounde since November 2016, Mandela’s example of leadership was preached as a model of compromise, negotiation and reconciliation for an all-inclusive society. This message of hope was echoed during an outreach event organized by UNIC Yaounde at the National Centre for the Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities, at the Etoug-Ebe neighborhood in Yaounde. This Centre admits persons with different degrees of disabilities, most of them cases of emergency. This event comprised:

  • Guided visit to patients of the Centre
  • Panel discussion on The Mandela day themes
  • Screening the movie; “INVICTUS”

Guided visit to patients of the Centre


To demonstrate Mandela’s love and service to humanity, UN staff and invitees, in 67 minutes paid a guided visit to 67 patients and persons with disabilities admitted in respective wards (Pavillon) of the Centre. During this visit, the patients received words of comfort, hugs and symbolic gifts from the Mandela change-makers. These gifts were composed of detergents, cubes of soap and toothpastes.

Panel discussion on the Mandela day themes

Mrs Grace Formuluh; Director General of the National Centre welcomed participants, lauded the UN for choosing the institution to celebrate Mandela’s legacy, as their daily actions reflect the Mandela philosophy of selfless service to humanity. She narrated the several material challenges of the Centre she heads, and appealed for more support from people of goodwill.

This was immediately followed by a panel discussion moderated by Jean Njita.

Mrs Bih Suzanne Awenti, National Pedagogic Inspector of History and Citizenship Education at the Ministry of Secondary Education (MINESEC), who dwelt on the global theme of “Take action and Inspire change”.  She narrated Mandela’s iography, situating his lifestyle as that of a selfless man who sacrificed all forms of comfort for the wellbeing of his fellow South Africans. She traced Mandela’s life from birth through his actions within the African National Congress party (ANC), life in prison, and rise to power as President of South Africa. She emphasized that Mandela’s stewardship as President was that of reconciliation, and the building of an inclusive, free, just, and prosperous rainbow South Africa for all; Afrikaners, Africans, etc. This was manifested through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission put in place by Mandela to heal the wounds of the apartheid era in South Africa, she added.

Dr Victor Manyim, Director of International Leadership University (ILU) centred his presentation on the 2017 theme: “action against poverty”. After a scholarly definition of poverty, he stated that poverty is understood in this context as a situation where “one who lacks income and cannot provide for his/her material needs”. He further added that poverty is increasing because root causes which are cultural and spiritual have so far not been sufficiently addressed. The University don in distinguishing between material and spiritual poverty, stated that spiritual wealth is the act of being rich (dignity) even though being materially poor, while spiritual poverty is the act of being poor (humble), even when one is materially rich. He called on the society to adopt an inclusive attitude, to reflect Mandela’s legacy in our daily life. For “it is only when the materially rich show humility and cater for the needs of the materially but dignified poor that we can bridge the gap and effectively fight poverty in our society

These exchanges were interspersed by sketches played by secondary school students, in which the achievements of Mandela were re-echoed. (see link: There was also a display of some sustainable items produced by students of Mario Secondary School to fight against poverty.

 Screening the movie; “INVICTUS”

During the same event, participants watched the movie; “INVICTUS“, which portrays how, Mandela used Sports (Rugby) to show strong leadership, and reconcile South Africans around an ideal of success, and brought about national Unity.

Educational Outreach Event on Nelson Mandela International Day, 18 July 2016

group pictureUNIC Yaounde organised an Educational Outreach Event with Students from some Secondary Schools in Yaounde, (now on holidays) in the UNIC Conference Room. The objective of this event was to inspire these students/youths to take action to help change the world for the better and in so doing, to build a global movement for good.

These 50 students aged between 10 and 18 years were briefed on the reason why the UN kept aside 18 July as the “Nelson Mandela International Day”.

Mandela followed three rules throughout his life, which he did at great personal sacrifice: Free yourself, Free others, Serve every day. They learnt that Mandela Day is a global call to action for citizens of the world to take up the challenge and follow in the formidable footsteps of Madiba, a man who transformed his life, served his country and freed his people.

They also learnt the rich biography of Mandela, in a bid to spur them “never to give up and be Mandelas of tomorrow.  They were cautioned to be of service in their respective home, schools and society and to endeavor to carry out volunteer service to humanity.

During the same event, student watched the screening of the movie; “INVICTUS”, which portrays how Mandela used Sports (Rugby) to reconcile South Africans, and bring about national Unity.
Guest Speaker was Mrs Suzanne Awenti; Pedagogic Inspector for Citizenship and Education at the Ministry of Secondary Education (MINESEC). In attendance were Mr Kouna Bah Jean Didier; National Pedagogic Inspector for Social Sciences (Ministry of Secondary Education), and Mrs Njokou Jacqueline: National Pedagogic Inspector for Bilingualism at the Ministry of Basic Education.

Film Screening - Invictus Film Screening - legacy of Mandela1 Film Screening -legacy of Mandela  Mrs Awenti panel participants participants1 student

Message du Secrétaire Général à l’occasion de la Journée Internationale Nelson Mandela, 18 juillet 2016 [Scroll down for English]

MandelaLa Journée internationale Nelson Mandela est l’occasion de revenir sur la vie et l’œuvre d’une personnalité légendaire qui incarnait les plus hautes valeurs de l’ONU. Madiba était un citoyen mondial modèle dont l’exemple continue de nous guider dans l’action que nous menons pour construire un monde meilleur pour tous. Aujourd’hui, nous nous remémorons un homme à la dignité tranquille et aux remarquables accomplissements qui a œuvré sans relâche pour la paix et la dignité humaine. Nelson Mandela a donné 67 années de sa vie pour changer la vie du peuple sud-africain. Ses accomplissements lui ont beaucoup coûté, à lui-même et à sa famille. Son sacrifice a non seulement servi le peuple de sa nation, mais encore fait de ce monde un monde meilleur pour chacun, partout. Nelson Mandala a montré l’exemple. Alors que les Nations Unies s’apprêtent à mettre en œuvre le Programme de développement durable à l’horizon 2030 qui vient d’être adopté, employons-nous à faire fond sur l’héritage que Nelson nous a laissé, fait d’abnégation et d’un profond sens de notre destinée commune. Les Nations Unies s’associent à la Fondation Mandela pour inviter chacun, partout dans le monde, à consacrer au moins 67 minutes de la journée 18 juillet à une activité de service communautaire. L’action bénévole en faveur d’autrui et de la planète est au cœur de la Journée internationale Nelson Mandela. Son thème – « Agissez! Incarnez le changement » – entend mobiliser la famille humaine pour qu’elle fasse davantage en faveur d’un monde pacifique, viable et équitable. Aidez un enfant dans ses études. Donnez à manger à ceux qui ont faim. Nettoyez un site ou prenez soin de votre environnement. Rendez service bénévolement à un hôpital ou un centre communautaire. Participez au mouvement Mandela pour un monde meilleur. C’est là le plus bel hommage à rendre à un homme extraordinaire qui, inébranlable dans sa foi en la justice et l’égalité humaine, a montré qu’une personne peut à elle seule faire toute la différence. Continuons à trouver l’inspiration dans l’exemple que Nelson Mandela nous a donné toute sa vie durant, et ne cessons jamais d’œuvrer à l’édification d’un monde meilleur pour tous.
The Secretary-General’s message for Nelson Mandela International Day, 18 July 2016
Nelson Mandela International Day is an opportunity to reflect on the life and work of a legend who embodied the highest values of the United Nations. Madiba was a model global citizen whose example continues to guide us in our work to build a better world for all. Today, we remember a man of quiet dignity and towering achievement who worked tirelessly for peace and human dignity. Nelson Mandela gave 67 years of his life to bring change to the people of South Africa. His accomplishments came at great personal cost to himself and his family. His sacrifice not only served the people of his nation, but made the world a better place for everyone, everywhere. Nelson Mandela showed the way. As the United Nations sets out to implement the newly adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, let us seek to continue building on Nelson Mandela’s legacy of selflessness and deep sense of shared purpose. The United Nations joins the Mandela Foundation in inviting people around the world to devote at least 67 minutes on 18 July to a community service activity. At the heart of Nelson Mandela International Day is volunteer work for people and the planet. Its theme – “Take action, Inspire change” – is meant to mobilize the human family to do more to build a peaceful, sustainable and equitable world. Tutor a child. Feed the hungry. Clean up a site or care for your environment. Volunteer to serve at a hospital or community centre. Be part of the Mandela movement to make the world a better place. This is the best tribute to an extraordinary man who, with his steadfast belief in justice and human equality, showed how one person can make a difference. Let us all continue being inspired by Nelson Mandela’s lifelong example and his call to never cease working to build a better world for all.