NATION TO CELEBRATE MADIBA DAY THROUGH SPORT
By: Raymond Padya
Eighteen years ago former President Nelson Mandela heeled this nation the moment he stepped onto the Ellis Park Stadium wearing a Springbok jersey… now it is time for the nation to return the favor.
Speaking at a Football Invitational 2013 media briefing for the upcoming Amazulu FC and Manchester City FC match, the MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation Ms Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha encouraged people to come and celebrate the life of Madiba on the18th of July at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
“I would like to call on all the people of KwaZulu Natal to show their love for football by going out and buying tickets to ensure that we fill this stadium in honour of our father Nelson Mandela on the important day, Mandela day,” she said.
The tickets for the match will now be ranging from R95 – R350 having being reduced from R150 – R350 to cater for people who could not afford.
Reminiscent of this country’s apartheid era, the Premier of Kwa-Zulu Natal Province, Dr Zweli Mkhize, clarified that Madiba has done a lot for South Africa therefore people should honor the Madiba Day.
“We want to celebrate the legacy of his contribution as a leader, his contribution in the way he has led to the formation of a new South Africa which he moved from heavy, violent, conflict, division, into a peaceful, united nation,” he said.
The English soccer giants, Manchester City are set to arrive in Durban on Thursday 11 July at the King Shaka International Airport. In their 10-day stay in South Africa, both the AmaZulu FC and Manchester City FC players will take part in CSI activities to highlight ‘Mandela Day’ and the ‘67 Minutes for Madiba’ campaign.
Other activities around the team’s arrival include a gala dinner hosted by provincial and city players, an open training session for the public at Moses Mabhida Stadium at a fee of R20 per ticket, plus a soccer clinic for young soccer stars at the Sugar Ray Xulu Soccer Stadium.
AmaZulu FC Marketing Manager, Lunga Sokhela, said that they want to start-off the season by beating Manchester City and that they want to do justice in representing the country.
According to Mkhize, wining the match won’t be that important but it is going to be about how people use the moment to celebrate their unity and the oneness of humanity.
The Deputy City Manager of the Community and Emergency Services Cluster, Dr Musa Gumede, has confirmed that the city of Durban is ready to host the match.