So what am I passionate about when it comes to Mandela8? Everything really, but most importantly it's to see positive change in our communities and achieve that change by doing the right thing. People in communities must have a voice in their future. Mandela8 has strong values which include forgiveness, compassion, human dignity, love not hate, trust and reconciliation, actions as well as words, legacy, education, democracy and the democratic voice, transparency and integrity. These values are also really important to me.
Mandela is one of my heroes and the most important of his messages was the message of unity and his compassion for others. Mandela’s goal was to establish a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony with equality of opportunity. It was an ideal that he was prepared to die for, served 27 years in prison for and that he dedicated 67 years of his life to campaigning for.
Born on 18 July 1918, his birth name Rolihlahla means 'troublemaker'. He was named Nelson at school. Somehow he was destined to do the exact opposite of what his name meant and he came to represent peace and reconciliation worldwide.
When sentenced to life imprisonment Mandela’s refusal to compromise his political position or his people for his freedom, saw him become a powerful symbol of resistance for Anti-apartheid and human rights across the world.
Opportunities for young people
Mandela8 represents all of this. I am really excited about our memorial installation, an outdoor classroom that will be in situ on the island in Princes Park by next year, where all schools can visit and learn about Black culture and human rights and social values. A real boost to the curriculum for schools across the Liverpool City Region and beyond who have already embraced our Mandela Week programme (incorporating the My67 Minutes Programme). Imagine how amazing it is going to be to see young people from schools using the memorial by the time the Mandela family visit us next year.
I am passionate about education and believe all young people should be given an equal opportunity to learn and thrive. Young people are our future and who better for Mandela8 to support than those who will take our legacies forward. I want my legacy to have paved the way for all young people who don’t have the same opportunities in life as those more fortunate. I want them to have hope of a better future and a belief in themselves that they can be the next Prime Minister if they want to be. And why not?
Mandela8 want young people to be proud of who they are and where they come from and to develop with confidence, ambition and strong compassionate, caring and democratic values and a desire to leave a legacy their children and families would be proud of.
For more information about our work please visit the Mandela8 website.