© Sundowns MediaThe Ladies team players also gave back their time on Nelson Mandela DayAuthor: Kamokgelo MalingaNelson Mandela Day 2023 Theme(s): ‘It’s in Your Hands’ and ‘Climate, Food and Solidarity’

Call to Action: The Legacy Lives on Through You
Driven by the timeless ideals of former President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, Mamelodi Sundowns embraced the spirit of giving back on Nelson Mandela Day. This annual celebration, held on July 18th, not only honours the extraordinary life and legacy of the renowned leader but also showcases how the beautiful game of football can be a catalyst for positive transformation and a platform to uphold Tata’s values of peace, compassion, and human dignity.
More than a mere commemoration, the club celebrated the remarkable life of Nelson Mandela and the milestone of the 10-year remembrance since his passing by visiting Saron Primary School in Rustenburg, based in the community of Phokeng. In attendance and garnished in yellow at Saron was the Mamelodi Sundowns Chairman (Tlhopie Motsepe), ambassadors (Tiyani ‘Shuga’ Mabunda) and (Hlompho Kekana), the men’s team players, ladies team players, the technical team and staff from the club.

Masandawana recognises its unique role in inspiring communities and effecting change beyond the pitch. By aligning their actions with Mandela’s vision, Masandawana embraced the responsibility to champion this social cause and adhered to the themes It’s in Your Hands and The Legacy Lives on Through You by means of giving back to the community of Phokeng by way of painting the school and planting a vegetable garden.

Club Ambassador and former Skipper, Hlompho Kekana touched on the aim of this initiative by having actively participated in the movement Nelson Mandela initiated. “More than anything, the club wanted to ensure that we build a relationship with the community and celebrate this special day with them. The goal was to ensure that we bring hope to the younger ones and plant the seeds of unity because they are the future of our country,” expressed the former skipper.
© Sundowns MediaSundowns Players arriving at Sarong Primary School in Rustenburg “It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”- Nelson MandelaKekana mentioned that the club hopes that the children, together with the community, get inspiration from having the players, coaches, and staff present to engage in the day’s activities. He outlined that Mamelodi Sundowns continues to honour Nelson Mandela’s legacy through these initiatives and to assist in helping build the nation. He further relayed the club’s directive and said, “The message the club hopes to put across is to ensure that the children understand the importance of unity and Ubuntu.”

Situated in the heart of the Royal Bafokeng region, Saron Primary School is home to over 500 learners (Grade R- 7) from communities such as Phokeng, Lefaragatlhe, Bobuania, Luka, and other Bafokeng neighbouring villages. Saron Primary School Principal, Mapaseka Themba, expressed her gratitude over the club’s visit to the school, “We are overwhelmed and happy to have had Mamelodi Sundowns spend this special day with us.”

“The kids will understand that there are people who care for them and want to see the kids reach for the stars and fulfil their dreams. In the book of Acts 20:35 Jesus said that ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive’, and with that, we will forever be grateful to Mamelodi Sundowns for choosing to bless our school,” Saron’s Principal commented.

Saron Primary School relies on the parent's participation and involvement in ensuring that the school is run smoothly. Outlining the school’s financial challenges, Mrs Themba gracefully proclaimed how Masandawana have assisted in alleviating these hurdles and mentioned, “We have been wanting to revamp the school and the club has managed to paint our school and brighten it up. The players also planted vegetable seeds and revived our garden which will come in handy in helping us sustain ourselves.”
© Sundowns MediaThe club Chairman, Tlhopie Motsepe, and Supporters Coordinator, Thabo Lekuma, working on the school garden "There can be no greater gift than that of giving one's time and energy to helping others without expecting anything in return.”- Nelson MandelaFollowing the successful day of painting and planting vegetables, Club Chairman, Tlhopie Motsepe touched on what the club aimed to achieve in their time spent at the school,“ We hope that today we’ve left a lasting impact on the community. We know that we're going to come back and check on our vegetable gardens and hopefully see that the paint is still looking as fresh as ever. The Ubuntu- Botho connection and humanity is what we are as a football club,” added the Chairman as he emphasised how the initiative is in alignment with the club’s beliefs.

Nelson Mandela Day presents a unique opportunity for individuals, communities, and nations to reflect on the progress made and the challenges that still lie ahead in the country and across the world. It compels us to pause and ask ourselves how we can actively contribute to building a world that upholds Mandela’s vision of a society with peace, love and unity.
© Sundowns MediaPlayers and supporters came together to get the job completedAmidst the roaring crowds, pulsating energy, and breath taking displays of skill, Mamelodi Sundowns is an ambassador for change, carrying forward the message of hope and resilience. Through the continuous celebration of Nelson Mandela Day, the club embodies the spirit of unity and reminds everyone that the power to effect change lies within our collective actions, both on and off the pitch.