In a beautiful gesture of inter-cultural and interfaith relations, members of the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) trekked to the beautiful village of Mvezo Komkhulu in the Eastern Cape, the birth place of Madiba, to attend the Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Centenary celebrations. Mandela would have celebrated his birthday on Wednesday and there were celebrations globally to honour the anti-apartheid icon by marking ‘67 minutes for Madiba’ in community service.
The MJC were invited by His Royal Highness Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela and the Mvezo Traditional Council to attend the centenary celebration to pay tribute to the former struggle stalwart and father of our nation. It was a colourful and moving event, attended by President Cyril Ramaphosa, former president Jacob Zuma, politicians and traditional leaders.
MJC first deputy presidents Maulana Abdul Khaliq Allie conveyed his pride to be a citizen of a country which is the birth place of the iconic Mandela. Allie emphasized that Madiba, even in death, continued to be a unifying force across the world, as thousands of people marked 67 minutes to remember the 67 years he sacrificed for the liberation of South Africa from apartheid rule.
Allie said the multi-racial and multi-cultural was reminiscent of what Mandela had envisioned for the free democratic South Africa.
“The interaction with the representatives from the Muslim community from Mtata, Mvezu, Soweto and King Williams’s town was educational and a cultural experience. All the different delegations shared one common goal … how we need to implement and live the Mandela legacy within the Muslim community,” explained Allie.
He emphasized that the prominent concern was education and youth empowerment and how the leaders had to invest in the youth of our communities. One of the highlights was that 100 bicycles were handed over to the youth of Mvezo.
“The Chief of the Mvezo Traditional Council and the grandson of Nelson Mandela, Mandla Mandela displayed the investments which his council has done for educating the youth of that area. He detailed how many graduated and current students in various fields have benefited from bursary programs. Something which also stood out was all the partnerships with private companies,” he added.
The sanitation development programs will be creating job opportunities for the women and youth in the area.
“The values of non-racialism and non-sexism Mandela fought for was proven to exist yesterday at the centenary,” Allie concluded.