Pretoria, 16 July 2015 – The United Nations Communications Group (UNCG) South Africa, led by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Pretoria, partnered with Sabido Productions and Cinema Nouveau, Brooklyn to screen the acclaimed documentary “Mandela: The passing of an icon” to mark Nelson Mandela International Day.
Nelson Mandela International Day, celebrated annually on 18 July, encourages giving and volunteering. The “67 minutes initiatives” are supported globally to honour Nelson Mandela’s appeal to help eradicate social inequality and conflict.
More than 100 representatives from government, civil society, the diplomatic corps, the media and UN staff attended the screening on 16 July 2015.
Based on Journalists insights and views on Mandela’s passing, the documentary “Mandela: The passing of an icon” is a timeline of events that followed after Mandela’s passing. It captures the raw emotions of the South African people who were mourning the death of a struggle icon, a President and father of the nation. The documentary is all encompassing as it illustrates the unity and social cohesiveness of people around the world.
Ms. Veronica Modey-Ebi, UNHCR’s Acting Regional Representative gave the key-note address at the screening and also delivered the message of the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon.
Ms. Modey-Ebi spoke about the importance and significance of Nelson Mandela International Day and encouraged people to emulate Mandela’s goodwill. She also highlighted that people must remember that Nelson Mandela International Day is an ongoing commitment and that we should all strive to promote volunteerism and contribute to making this world a better place.
“We all need to dig deep and draw in some of the innate characteristics that Nelson Mandela advocated for such as humanity, integration and respect for human life,” she expressed. “This day should be a reminder for us all, on how we can be better people everywhere,” she added.
Furthermore, the audience was also enthralled and captivated by Given Masilela a notable and upcoming poet from the Tshwane University of Technology who performed some of his poems at this event.
The United Nations in South Africa has each year made the commemoration of this day one of its paramount rituals by organizing various activities that motivate people to give back to their communities by following Mandela’s footsteps. Apart from the documentary screening, different UN agencies in South Africa such as the United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS, the United Nations Development Programme, the Food and Agriculture Organisation and United Nations Volunteers heeded the call to action by participating in several 67 minutes for Mandela initiatives around the country.