Nelson Mandela’s retirement

Help make Nelson Mandela’s retirement peaceful

Nelson Mandela receives at least 4 000 messages a month from people throughout the world.

Many of these pay tribute to Mr Mandela and wish him well in his retirement.

However, there are just as many requests: for his signature, a message of support, a public appearance or an interview. There are also continued injunctions for him to intervene in struggles around the world, and to endorse various causes.

As far back as 1999 Mr Mandela said the following in response to these calls: “I don’t want to reach 100 years whilst I am still trying to bring about a solution in some complicated international issue.”

Then, in 2004, he publicly announced his intention to step away from public life and tasked three organisations (the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and the Mandela Rhodes Foundation) with carrying on his humanitarian work.

Finally, in 2008, during his 90th birthday celebrations, he pointedly called on people everywhere to pick up the baton of leadership: “It’s in your hands to make the world a better place”.

In response to this call, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and it sister organisations implemented Mandela Day. This is a campaign that we hope will lead to a global movement of good, enabling individuals and organisations to start off with just 67 minutes of community service on Nelson Mandela’s birthday, and then start making every day a Mandela Day.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation would like to ask people everywhere to help make Madiba’s retirement a time of peace and tranquillity, and to once more note the following:

  • He no longer grants interviews, nor does he respond to formal questions from the media, researchers or members of the public.
  • Given the huge number of projects and causes he is asked to endorse, and the impossibility of selecting a few among the many worthy requests, he no longer provides messages of support, written or audio visual.
  • Because of the sheer volume of requests for his autograph, he no longer signs books, memorabilia, photographs, etc. We therefore appeal to the public not to send items for him to sign as the Foundation cannot guarantee the safe return of this material.

Thank you for your continued support and your warm wishes to Mr Mandela.

For more information on how you are able to help perpetuate Madiba’s legacy, please click here.

Once more, we urge you to become part of the Mandela Day global movement for good. More information on how to participate can be found here.