Fish & Chip Co. – The Importance of Mandela Day
Nelson Mandela International Day has been inspiring people across the country – and the world – to take action and effect some change, even if only for 67 minutes on 18 July each year. In honour of our late president, individuals and companies alike make the most of this day to demonstrate their commitment to social change, with some going over and above what they usually do for the community. But what is the big deal with Mandela Day anyway and why is it worth taking part? Managing Executive of The Fish & Chip Co, Jan de Beer, shares his thoughts on the idea of Mandela Day and why businesses should become more involved in social initiatives.
In business, the concept of corporate social investment (CSI) is no longer viewed as a simple charitable donation. CSI is about more than PR activation to enhance a brand’s image, and is rather about fostering social stewardship, which has become a crucial aspect of leading businesses responsibly. Charity work has become an extension of what many businesses stand for, as more and more organisations know that serving others is what brings about sustainable business growth. But why such a big fuss about Mandela Day then?
Simply put – because those 67 minutes spent on Mandela Day represent more than just charity work.
It is in this timeframe where people unite to do more than just the ordinary, even if the tasks are the same as what they usually do. The very spirit of the day asks for more of us. Somehow these 67 minutes truly result in the nation reflecting a whole different outlook on servant-hood. Yes, the day commemorates Madiba’s birthday, however, as much as people unite in celebrating a great man, Mandela Day magic is created as it indirectly gives us all an opportunity to discover the greatness within ourselves.
The day should not be about Nelson Mandela, the icon. It should be about Nelson Mandela, an everyday man who made the choice to lead by serving. The ethos of the day calls for people to experience the joy of service – for service’s sake – to the assistance of others.
Mandela Day is sparking a revolution in the way we serve our communities and the more we practice what his legacy is about, the more we can actually make 67 minutes last longer.
Why wouldn’t a business want to be part of something revolutionary like this? Why would you not want to get your staff and customers excited about investing in the greater good?
At The Fish & Chip Co. we did our bit to make Mandela Day extra special during our time at the Children’s Memorial Institute for their ‘Fight with Insight’ programme. The project currently targets youth who have been accused of committing various offences, as well as kids who are in involved with crime. Growing up in an environment which exposes them to crime, drugs, theft, sexual deviants and other activities that no child should be exposed to, the programme aims to offer these children better guidance for their future by teaching them differently.