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Special Days
18 July: Nelson Mandela International Day


USB Executive Development’s vision is to see leaders and managers across Africa and beyond serving others with wisdom and courage. One man who epitomised the definition of servant leadership, is Nelson Mandela. According to the Nelson Mandela Foundation​, Mandela was the quintessential servant: “It was his job, his duty, to free himself and the people and then to continue being a servant of those very people.” 

He followed three rules throughout his life:

  1. Free yourself
  2. Free others
  3. Serve every day
On 10 May 2004, exactly 10 years after he was inaugurated as President of South Africa, Madiba was invited back to address a special sitting of Parliament. He said: “My wish is that South Africans never give up on the belief in goodness, that they cherish that faith in human beings as a cornerstone of our democracy. The first value mentioned under the founding principles of our Constitution is that of human dignity. We accord persons dignity by assuming that they are good, that they share the human qualities we ascribe to ourselves. Historical enemies succeeded in negotiating a peaceful transition from apartheid to democracy exactly because we were prepared to accept the inherent capacity for goodness in the other.”

On 18 July, the world honours this great man’s legacy on Nelson Mandela International Day. In remembrance of the 67 years of his life that Nelson Mandela gave in service of humanity, many will devote 67 minutes of their time to help others.

Developing servant leaders
Madiba said that: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” USB-ED believes that innovative and transformational learning experiences lead to the building of extensive networks and give rise to positive change across the African continent. For more information on USB-ED’s leadership and management development programmes, click here.
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