In addition to celebrating Mandela Day on his birthday, as stipulated by the UN, we find it crucial to commemorate the anniversary of his passing, especially a decade later. This event allows us to reflect on Mandela’s teachings, renew our commitment to his ideals, and inspire the next generation to carry the torch of justice and equality
DECEMBER 5 2023 marks a decade after the exit of Africa’s foremost statesman, Nelson Rolohaha Mandela, fondly called Madiba.
To commemorate the milestone, the Nelson Mandela Gardens & Resort, Asaba, perhaps the only monument dedicated to the memory of the illustrious son of the continent man, in Nigeria, is staging an elaborate event that would spotlight the contributions of the freedom fighter, frontline anti-apartheid activist, and former president of South Africa, who died December 5, 2013.
Starting at 6pm, the event will also feature a candlelight session to “honour the iconic African leader’s enduring legacy,” said a statement from the management of the NMG&R.
Signed by the head of communication for the Gardens &Resort, Ebube Okafor, the statement reads: “The 10th memorial service promises to be a reflective evening, bringing together leaders, dignitaries, and the community to honor Nelson Mandela’s enduring legacy. The candlelight session will symbolise the continued illumination of Mandela’s principles in the hearts and minds of people worldwide.”
She added: “The special guest of honour for this momentous occasion is the former governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan,” the statement avers. Joining him is the distinguished Bishop Kingsley Obuh, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, Diocese of Asaba, and the esteemed South African Consul General, Prof. Bobby Moroe.
The Nelson Mandela memorial service has become an annual tradition of the Nelson Mandela Gardens & Resort, drawing attention to the remarkable life and contributions of Madiba, a global symbol of peace, justice, and reconciliation.
“The motivation behind my continued celebration of Mandela stems from his inspiring impact on me, even in my teen years, witnessing his selfless fight for the emancipation of his people,” remarked the convener of the event, Dr Newton Jibunoh, founder/chairman of Nelson Mandela Gardens and Resort.
“My involvement in Mandela’s activist movement, including the ‘Free Mandela Movement,’ led me to rise as the vice president of the movement Mandela in London. Throughout this journey, I became acquainted with Mandela’s family, engaged in delivering speeches across various African countries for the movement, and eventually, had the privilege of meeting him after his release,” added the renowned Octogenarian environmentalist and culture advocate, fondly called ‘Desert Warrior’ as a result of his record-breaking crossing the dangerous Sahara Desert four times.
Dr. Jibunoh has expressed his enduring admiration for Mandela, revealing how it translated into supporting his cause while he was alive and honoring his passing every year since. “Since the inception of Mandela Gardens, we have consistently observed World Mandela Day. However, this particular occasion holds special significance as it marks the tenth anniversary of his passing,” he shared.
“In addition to celebrating Mandela Day on his birthday, as stipulated by the UN, we find it crucial to commemorate the anniversary of his passing, especially a decade later. This event allows us to reflect on Mandela’s teachings, renew our commitment to his ideals, and inspire the next generation to carry the torch of justice and equality,” Dr. Jibunoh added.
Located inside the Asaba International Airport, Asaba Delta State, the NMG resort has been marking the transition of Madiba since it was founded 10 years ago.