Mandela’s 90th b’day celebrated
Anti-apartheid activist and former president of South Africa Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday was celebrated at Springdales, Dhaula Kuan, on Friday. The event, which concluded the school’s Africa Week celebrations, began with a speech by Principal Jyoti Bose welcoming all the dignitaries, including Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma; South African High Commissioner to India Sehloho Francis Moloi; Minister Counsellor in the South African Mission D.M. Balatseng; Counsellor, Political, Marina L Minnie and Ambassador of Somalia Ebyan Mahmed Salah.
After the customary lamp-lighting ceremony, the school choir presented Mmalo-we, a foot-tapping number. The results of the slogan-writing, poetry-writing, poster-making and essay-writing competitions, which were part of the Africa Week, were announced soon after. The school's Freedom House received the Lakshmi Sheshadri Trophy, named after the founder-teacher of Africa Club, for the best house.
High Commissioner Moloi spoke about the contributions made by Gandhi to the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. Referring to Madiba, as Mandela is lovingly called, Moloi described him as Gandhiji's most devoted follower. He also recalled how the Africa Club of Springdales, since its inception in 1971, was closely associated with Mandela’s apartheid movement.
Anand Sharma said, “His 90 years are special not only for him, but for South Africa and everyone who believes in his values.” He added while the first half of the last century saw Gandhiji espousing great ideals, the second half saw Mandela emerge “as a beacon of hope for humankind.”