Nine ways to be a better South African this Mandela Day

Mandela Day is a time to give and work on nation building. uTata worked his whole life to erase the rift between South Africans and this is how the #RainbowNation came about. Our team put together a list of practical things you can do to benefit yourself, the people around you and ultimately, South Africa. Here are nine things that could translate into habits.

1. Practise the names of your black friends and co-workers

Take 67 minutes to make sure you know how to pronounce Nonhlanhla’s name instead of calling her Noni. You not only show Nonhlanhla that you respect her but develop into a better South African.


2. Fact check “news” before clicking share

This one only takes 67 seconds! If the headline says something ridiculous like “Atul Gupta plans to run as next ANC president” you’d best open your browser and do a young search. If your trusted news websites have nothing about this Gupta brother running for president, it isn’t true. Remember, Google is your friend.


3. Try not to mansplain

We know it’s really difficult for you to accept that you’re not actually the expert on everything that you think you are, so take 67 minutes to unlearn some toxic behaviour. We’ve put together some resources that will help you stop trying to teach women how periods work or how to do their jobs. Click here, here and here for a start. Okay, it might not take 67 minutes but start with 6.7 minutes and see how it goes.


4. Put that phone down and spend time with loved ones

According to a study by marketing firm We Are Social, South Africans spend an average of three hours a day accessing social media on their cellphones. Why not spend 67 minutes catching up with your special ones IRL, instead of stalking their Facebook statuses? It’s 67 minutes that could bring the spark back into your life. If not, at least the 67 minutes will end eventually and you gave it a shot.


5. Look after yourself

While Mandela Day might be the one day of the year where our timelines are filled with warm fuzzies and acts of selflessness, we still have to cope with the most every other day of the year. So if you need to take 67 minutes to process the tough stuff life throws at you, do it! Whether it’s going for a drink, drawing a bath, or doing both at the same time, don’t hesitate to help yourself on this day. Here are some cool places to find paint, bath salts or good wine.


6. Buy local: like, around the corner local

Capitalism stinks and is killing the local market. Spend R67 or anything you have to support your local fresh producer trader, clothes dealer or magwinya seller. Even if it’s further from you than your Spar or Woolies, it is worth that extra bit of effort.


7. Eat sustainably

Reading the ingredients and understanding how consuming palm oil hurts forests around the world, or cutting down on meat because animal-rearing’s effect on global temperatures contributed to the iceberg which recently broke away from the Antarctic ice shelf, are both good uses of your time this Mandela Day. To learn how to eat sustainably, take 6.7 minutes to read this.


8. Don’t give in to road rage

Being cut off by a taxi driver is one of life’s inevitabilities, so prepare yourself for the next experience. When it happens again, take 67 seconds to breathe deeply instead of leaning on your hooter and exhausting your swear word vocabulary. Try telling yourself that they’re in a hurry to get mothers home to their kids and kids to school in time, and give them way instead of letting them ruin your day.


9. Take a second to think before you behave like trash

Walking down a street and you see a beautiful or well-dressed woman? Tempted to whistle, catcall, or slut shame her for wearing whatever she wants? DON’T. Scrolling through your Facebook feed and someone posts a fire selfie? Want to dive in her DMs and request her number? DON’T. Learning where your presence and comments are not wanted might take 67 years, but just take one for the rest of the team on this one. Society will thank you. Start by reading this.


If you don’t get around to painting an orphanage, planting trees, or knitting blankets, hopefully these nine small tips will help you build the Rainbow Nation. Do it for Tata.

Featured image via Flickr