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Celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela

As the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison draws near, Richard Sudan is looking forward to the celebrations honouring the great man.

2009 was a year of several firsts on the road to equality. January saw the election of the first African-American to the highest political office in the world. These will go down in history as landmark achievements and continue to inspire the next generation of BME leaders.

In this country it is ever the more important that we celebrate those people who have made immeasurable sacrifices and contributions fighting for us in freedom’s name, so that our voices are heard.

OBV is therefore looking forward to the first annual commemoration of the life of Nelson Mandela, an official day of worldwide celebration, to be held on 18th July 2010 (Mandela’s birthday).

February 11th will mark the 20th anniversary of Mr. Mandela’s release from Robben Island the South African prison where he was held in apartheid’s grip for 27 years.

A lifelong champion of human rights Mr Mandela’s achievements were recognised in November 2009 by the United Nations and a resolution has since passed making the 18th July a day of international celebration and commemoration.

OBV is looking forward to paying tribute to the sacrifices made by Mandela in the name of freedom.

In 1994 Mandela became the first democratically elected President of South Africa following the end of the end of apartheid system of rule, and is also a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

One event in particular worth keeping an eye on is an event entitled ‘The audacity of world freedom’ to raise funds for one of Mandela’s UK charities the Nelson Mandela Children’s fund.

July 18th will prove a monumental day as the world will mark the incredible life of a man who means so much to many people and for so many reasons.

We know that you will join in the celebrations while continuing to recognise the importance of holding up figures like Mandela as a source of inspiration the world over – particularly for young people.

One of my earliest childhood memories is of my mother making me write Nelson Mandela a birthday card while he was still incarcerated. At the time I had no idea who he was.

It was only in later life that I learned who Mandela is and why his long walk to freedom has touched so many people over many years.

He remains a living symbol of hope and freedom-freedom for which he gave so much with an unbreakable spirit in the face of incredible adversity.

Watch this space for details on the events to be held that will mark and celebrate the life and times of Nelson Mandela.

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