Today we ask you to join us on a reflective meditation about the lessons of Mandela:
With thanks for words by Boyd Varty and artwork by Roxy Burrough.
Download the drawing of Mandela here, our Mandela Day gift to you.
The History of Mandela Day at Londolozi
It has been our tradition, for many years, to celebrate Mandela Day and this year is the first year we are doing it without our guests, who we miss dearly. Since 2009, Mandela Day has been celebrated each year on July 18th, Nelson Mandela’s birthday. This day was officially declared as Mandela Day by the United Nations, as a global call to action for people to celebrate the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world. On this day you are invited to do 67 minutes of service, a movement in which one is asked to donate one minute for every year he spent as a public figure, as a gesture of solidarity to a shared humanity.
This year we started a few days early so that we could share this invitation with all of you at this challenging time in the world. Mandela taught the Londolozi family first-hand about his thinking and way of living. Immediately following his release from prison, he visited Londolozi as a guest of the Varty family, and stayed for weeks as part of a recuperation period before resuming his role as leader of the African National Congress. From that day, Londolozi has endeavoured to live by and share his values.
In 2009 Londolozi built Mandela’s Way (also known as Freedom’s Way) a piece of land-art by Simon-Max Bannister that forms the central pathway through the Londolozi Village, lined with indigenous trees and shrubs, planted by the Londolozi Family over the years. Along the path are words carrying small reminders of Madiba’s values.
Londolozi has always had the vision to “create a space and a place where people can become the best versions of themselves and to become a voice for right relations between people, the Earth, and it’s wild inhabitants”. Mandela’s Way aided in this vision by always reminding the Londolozi Family of Nelson Mandela – a true role model. Guests, who visit Londolozi’s Learning Centre or the Ubuntu Hut for storytelling, walk along this path and are reminded of Madiba and will witness firsthand the pivotal role they, as guest at Londolozi, play in opening up opportunities for individuals, families and children to become the best version of themselves in Londolozi’s Futuristic African Village.
Over the past few years Londolozi has dedicated the 67 minutes of service to community projects which can be done together, as a family. These 67 minutes are based on the term “ubuntu”, the “I am because of you” philosophy, something which remains close to Londolozi’s heart. Every person has the power to change the world, and it starts with the simplest acts of kindness.
This year we gathered to help with our communal gardens in the Londolozi Futuristic African Village. Normally these gardens would provide greens for the Londolozi Kitchen in our Forage to Fork process, but during this quiet period we’ve given these gardens some love and they are now producing a wide variety of vegetables for the Londolozi Village. 67 minutes were put to good use as teams assembled to begin composting, raking leaves, planting seeds in our vegetable nursery and planting sausage trees and marula trees in and around our village sourced from our indigenous nursery.
This Mandela Day we hope you find the Mandela inside yourself. Perhaps you are raising one. Perhaps you’re teaching one or influencing one. Mandela asks us all today to step beyond the stories, to humanise the moment, or to be a local disruption in the systemic algorithm towards love and towards life. How will you celebrate your 67 minutes of service this year? Share with us in the comments section below.
Filed under 2020 Vision History Life Occasions
It is this sort of approach and spiritual awareness that separates Londolozi from the many lodges that have little in common with the communities around them.
I have been safari-ing for thirty years and seen these ethos at just two lodges, one being Londolozi and the other in Kenya .
Moving words food for thoughts. Thank you
Bronwyn, wonderful blog today, Mandela🤗
Mandela was a great man, this is a strong blog today. I wish that everyone around the world could learn from this man. Thanks so much for today.
One of my most memorable and thought-provoking travel experiences was my visit to Robben Island where Mandela
was imprisoned for 18 of the 27 years he served behind bars.
Wow, you are keeping the gardens with permaculture. Really good to read this, I do the same here in NL. As Mandela day is on Saturday, I will work in the garden and collect foodstuffs for some people around me who are having difficulty in scraping it together every month…….
A wonderful reflection on the life of a truly great man. Thank you for sharing Londolozi with us today. Lovely to see the children involved too.
What a beautiful blog today Bronwyn and the words written and read by Boyd so very touching. I would love to share this with everyone in Malta where greed is transforming this unique Mediterranean island to concrete, where the environment has been backbenched and migrating birds are shot for pleasure. Since Covid began, I have been helping prepare food in a community kitchen for those who have lost their jobs or are no longer able to feed themselves or their families. We are now Covid free, but the kitchen continues. Wishing your all peace and hoping that your lives will soon return to some normality. Though from the outside looking in, your world seems just that…. peaceful and normal 🙏🏻💕
Excuse me for crying all through your presentation. I am sharing this video with everyone in my life. Thank you all for – I can’t begin to put it into words… A team of people and I are committed to seeing Haiti being transformed; which, to me, would be a larger version of your campus. Imagine an entire nation and an entire world living this way. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for providing such a call to become who we are meant to be; your video will become a tool in each teacher’s classroom to move students of every age to being a decent human being first and a contribution to all immediately following, like drops of water in a stream. You all are brilliant. I can’t wait to meet you.
Communication is power and your piece on Mandela Day is very inspiring! I’m new to Londolozi (have only been there once last fall) but not new to the messaging, yet it drives me deeper toward more contribution and participation on a global level for all humans. Thank you for giving …..
Except my favourite ones are the animal ones
But it was still good
So proud of Londolozi focus on Mandela and actively copy his awareness.
A very moving celebration of Mandela Day and really moving words.
Bronwyn, It is inspiring to continue to see the focus and leadership that you and our Londolozi family pour into celebrating Nelson Mandella in so many ways. We were honored to be at Londolozi last year on the celebration day and remember the fun we had, and mess we all made :-), repainting the children’s playground. There was paint everywhere! Love to all!
Thank you Bronwyn for this terrific blog and the 67 minute challenge. I read it this morning and took your challenge, spending far more than 67 minutes working with African American friends and leaders in my hometown, Oakland California, on ways I can use my privilege to support desperately needed changes in white supremacist structures here (locally and overall in the US). To be completely transparent, this is what I’ve been doing regularly, but your challenge created a specific and special intention for the day.
Everything I am doing is on a local level and in support of my community. It is difficult work, as it is people with my skin color (white) who have to speak to each other and make the changes, not the African American community. But it is absolutely time for change (beyond time really) and any difficulties are vastly outweighed by the benefits. While I am not in this type of effort for personal gain, but rather to be of service, the return benefits are immeasurable. After reading Boyd’s first book and engaging with your wonderful community (I hope to visit with my sister Tina some day!), I was even more energized to be on the right side of history. Isn’t it odd that we in the US can see the issues the great Mandela confronted and you have all worked on for so many years and cheer, yet not see our own work ahead? Sometimes the storm must come before the calm!
Anyway, all love and gratitude for this meditation and your challenge.
Tremendous blog today! Thank you for getting us all thinking how we may be of service!
I find this word “Ubuntu to be so deeply profound upon its meaning, thus stated “I am because of you” philosophy. It extends in thought to what is said in philosophy in Hawaii, being “Be the Aloha you want to see in the world.” –
If only Londolozi’s pride, ethics and compassion, c0-joined by the charismatic beliefs, humanity, philosophy and vision brought forth by Nelson Mandela could be shared around the world. It would be an immense movement towards creating the possibility for transformation in how we interact with each other.
Inspiring to see how you’re all living the spirit of Ubuntu. We are jealous, though of your extended community “bubble” during this SIP. We two are alone in quarantine here in California, surrounded by virus outbreaks, enjoying nature only near our home and looking forward to better times ahead.
Thank you for reminding us of the spiritual importance of a deep felt sense of service and giving back.
Such a thoughtful blog today, truly inspired by the words of Boyd and mesmerizing images of Roxy creating such a beautiful portrait of Mandela. There should be a Mandela Day around the world, purposely initiated to enable all to listen to his words…. creating a worldwide effort to not be complacent, but act to preserve, protect and defend. Ubuntu, one word that could change all of us for the better.
Words to make us weep with thoughts to inspire. Oh Madiba, if only The World would listen!
He was such an amazing man, we sure can use his wise words especially with all of the crisis in the World today.
Just love the Mandela Meditation – have listened to it now numerous times and each time it sink in deeper. Thank You Boyd, Bronwyn and Roxy. such a powerful message – Looking for the Mandela within. xxxx