Today, the public as well as the children of Lalela got to see the first artwork created for Mandela Day as part of the #My67Beads initiative at its unveiling at the V&A Waterfront.
Lalela provides educational arts for at risk youth to spark creative thinking and awaken the entrepreneurial spirit. The young artists from Lalela created the Madiba bead mosaic by pulling together sets of beads strung by the public, celebrities, and corporates in the run up to International Mandela Day.
“I think Mandela Day means appreciating what the icon Nelson Mandela has done in our country. We can do this by contributing in community forums and projects to make changes in our society and engage ourselves in something that will benefit us all regardless of race, language, and culture. We must be united and strong enough to face challenges because united we stand, divided we fall,” says Zizo, 17, one of Lalela’s students involved in the artwork.
Cassandra, 16, says “ For me Mandela Day is about honouring the legendary man who gave all of us freedom. But it doesn't only end there. Mandela Day means we as people must respect one another and remember uTat'uNelson Mandela and what he had done for us.” Non- profits Relate Bracelets and the Mandela Bangle together launched the #My67Beads initiative, assisted by student artists from Lalela, with the idea to “connect the beads, connect the nation”, in order to remind all South Africans what Mandela stood for above all else: togetherness.
For this part of the project, South Africans were called on to thread 67 beads at Bead ‘n Go stations, that have been set up at Protea and African Pride Hotels, as well as Tourvest retail outlets nationally. A weeklong Bead ’n Go station was set up at the V&A Waterfront. Organised by longtime Relate partner Ikamva Labantu, youth and seniors community beading days were also held in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.
Recognising the key positions they hold in our society as proudly South African brands, Protea Hotels, Nando’s, Clicks, Fedex, Deloitte, and the V&A Waterfront had their leadership and staff thread their #My67Beads in support of the campaign. Celebrities showing their support for the #My67Beads initiative included Hlubi Mboya, Matthew Booth, Nic Groom, Liezel van der Westhuizen, DJ Sox, longtime Relate Bracelets ambassador Tracey Lange and more. Bead packs are available for free, ensuring the campaign is as inclusive as possible. The individual beaded threads from the public Bead ‘n Go stations, corporate partners, celebrities, and the community beading days were joined together creating one united thread.
This long strand of beads has now been transformed by the children of Lalela into the first artwork, celebrating Nelson Mandela. It will now be a permanent feature in the V&A Waterfront’s Watershed. The unveiling event also officially marked the launch of a bespoke Mandela Bracelet, made by Relate. Tourvest Destination Retail bought in 67 000 of these bracelets to be sold in their stores countrywide (see full list below). Over the coming months, with each bracelet purchased for R67, a free #My67Beads pack will be handed out. Proceeds from the sale of these bracelets will go directly to the Mandela Day Libraries project as well as to social upliftment giving South Africans and foreign visitors an opportunity to help make every day a Mandela Day. The additional strands of beads will go towards the creation and installation of a second artwork in Johannesburg. On Mandela Day itself, Bead ‘n Go stations will be open to the public at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town and on Vilikazi Street in Soweto, Johannesburg.
“As the Tourvest group, we wanted to remember and recognise that honouring Mandela’s legacy cannot just be something done on one day out of the year. It was in this spirit we decided to stock 67 000 of these bracelets, so that our customers had a way to even in a little
way honour Mandela’s legacy by funding these libraries,” says Allison Graham, CEO of Tourvest Destination Retail.
The Mandela Bangle, a Long Walk To Freedom brand initiative supported by Zenani and Zindziswa Mandela, provides funds to the Mandela Day Libraries project. Through the sale of these bangles, and the bespoke Mandela Bracelet made by Relate and available at Tourvest
stores, old containers are refurbished and stocked to be libraries which are donated to underprivileged schools across South Africa.
Commenting on the #My67Beads campaign, Robert Coutts, CEO of Mandela Bangle, added: “One of the many outstanding attributes of the Mandela Bangle program is that the manufacturing process is part of community upliftment so every part of the Bangle and Bracelet is helping in some way while the sale of the bangle and Bracelet provides much needed funds for the building of libraries and the literacy campaign we run.”
Neil Robinson, CEO of Relate Bracelets, says: “We officially launched the bracelets today, to be sold beyond 18 July in the spirit of making every day a Mandela Day. One small act, the purchase of a single bracelet, can make a big difference to many lives.”
Instantly recognisable by their signature “R” bead, Relate Bracelets makes handmade beaded bracelets in support of more than 85 causes, one of which is now the Mandela Day Libraries project. Proceeds from the sale of each bracelet support not only the relevant causes, but also the Ikamva Labantu seniors in impoverished communities who supplement their pensions by threading the beads. Many of these senior citizens care for their grandchildren and others orphaned by HIV/Aids. Relate’s younger staff members, who close and pack the bracelets, also benefit with training in their chosen fields to further their careers beyond Relate.
Exclusive Mandela Bracelets & a free #My67Beads pack will be available in the following stores:
Robben Island Gateway, V&A Waterfront Cape Town
Robben Island Murray’s Harbour Shop Cape Town
Kirstenbosch Gardens Cape Town
Out of Africa, Cape Point
Out of Africa, V&A Waterfront Cape Town
Indaba Curios, V&A Waterfront Cape Town
Made in SA, V&A Waterfront Cape Town
Made in SA, Cape Town Airport Cape Town
Tigers Eye, V&A Waterfront Cape Town
Out Of Africa, Cape Point Cape Point
Kraalkraft, Hout Bay
Cape Point Logo shop, Cape Point
Lighthouse 5 shop, Cape Town
Taung, V&A Waterfront Cape Town
Kraalkraft, Cango Caves Oudtshoorn
Addo Elephant National Park
Made In SA, Sandton City Johannesburg
Jacana, Sandton City Johannesburg
Made in SA, OR Tambo Johannesburg
Out of Africa, OR Tambo Johannesburg
Indada Lifestyle, OR Tambo Johannesburg
Indaba Origins, OR Tambo Johannesburg
Out Of Africa Impulse, OR Tambo Johannesburg
African Origins, OR Tambo Johannesburg
SA Flag Shop, OR Tambo Johannesburg
Cradle of Humankind Maropeng
Skukuza Parks Shop Kruger National Park
Lower Sabie Parks Shop Kruger National Park
Satara Parks Shop Kruger National Park
Out of Africa, Mpumalanga Airport
Letaba Parks Shop Kruger National Park
Pretoriuskop Parks shop Kruger National Park
Olifants Parks Shop Kruger National Park
Berg en Dal – Parks Shop Kruger National Park
Orpen Parks shop Kruger National Park
Crocodile Bridge Parks Shop Kruger National Park
Mopani Parks Shop Kruger National Park
North West Province
The Palace Collection Sun City