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Bikers for Nelson Mandela Day – Jul 2011
The 2011 “Bikers for Nelson Mandela Day” embarked on their journey on Monday the July 11th at 07h45 from Monte Casino where RTT enjoyed the hype around this annual event. This year a group of 25 riders and 15 support staff took the message of Nelson Mandela from Gauteng through the Free State, Kwa- Zulu Natal, Mpumalanga to Swaziland.
“The Mandela Day philosophy is to take action, inspire change and to make every day a Mandela Day. If all of us contribute in some way; whether 67 minutes or more, it will result in a transformative momentum. The ‘Bikers for Mandela Day’ are contributing greatly to this.” Mr. Achmat Dangor, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, who gave the opening speech at the press conference.
This year was significantly more rural than last year. Whilst in Swaziland the bikers laid a memorial wreath in honour of Graça Machel’s late husband, former Mozambican president Samora Machel in Mbuzini village on the 15th July. The bikers on their 2 200km trip visited several heritage sites significant to Mandela’s life.
Dr. Kobus van der Merwe a veterinarian who was part of the support staff educated communities on treating animals correctly. Here RTT provided a brand new one ton vehicle to facilitate in this education. Zelda la Grange of the NMF noticed the need for care and awareness for animals in 2010 ‘Bikers for Nelson Mandela Day’ and said that having Kobus take part made a real impact on the communities they visited.
Radio personality and 5fm’s DJ Fresh; spoke about being a believer in random acts of kindness. In his way he wanted to show the youth that giving back to the community doesn’t have to be for a set time on a set day. He rode with fellow 5fm news reader Angie Khumalo was said that this was a chance to “be part of something bigger than ourselves”.
Other bikers included Bok Van Blerk with actress Hanna Grobler who rode pillion with him. SA Survivor winner, Hykie Berg and actor Jack Devnarain from Isidingo all rode. Ivan Zimmerman, Egoli actor and Darren Kelfkens from 7de Laan also joined in with the other well know faces. Several riders joined the group for a few days at a time such as 5fm’s Anele Mdodo and Jacaranda fm sports presenter, John Walland.
The bikers left with Graça Machel waving them goodbye to take part in 67 minutes at each community project along the 2011 route and were welcomed home in Pretoria after their 7 day, 13 hour and 37 minute long journey, on Nelson Mandela’s birthday on the 18th July.
RTT urges people to make every day a Mandela Day especially when the cameras are off.