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For eight days in the run up to Nelson Mandela Day, a group of bikers will roar through four provinces, doing humanitarian work along the way.
A SWARM of motorcyclists, celebrities and ordinary people among them, is expected to participate in an eight-day, four province tour as a precursor to Nelson Mandela Day on Monday, 18 July.

 

Bikers will ride for Madiba this yearReady to ride for MadibaThe bike tour will negotiate villages and cities, setting off from Montecasino in northern Joburg on 11 July. From there, it is on to Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. The bikers will arrive back in Gauteng, in Tshwane, a week later, on Nelson Mandela Day. A section of the route will also traverse Swaziland.
 

“The Bikers For Mandela Day trip this year is more arduous and extensive than last year’s, which is saying something considering we encountered rain, storms, sunshine and even snow en route in 2010,” said Zelda la Grange of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, who participated in last year’s tour.

“Significantly, both the day of departure on 11 July and the day of return by Bikers For Mandela Day are Mondays, further reinforcing the recently launched ‘Mandela Mondays’ of the Nelson Mandela Foundation,” the foundation said in a statement published on its website.

The bike tour is to be an annual curtain raiser for Nelson Mandela Day. This year’s chosen route covers several heritage sites that are significant in Mandela’s life and times, including the spot near the KwaZulu-Natal town of Howick where he was arrested on 5 August 1962. This year marks 49 years since that arrest.

The foundation said bikers would stop at selected villages along the route and participate in community projects and other social initiatives “devoting 67 minutes of their time to activities that will leave a lasting and sustainable impact on their beneficiaries”.

“But as a Mandela Day project that touches on all aspects of our founder’s life and legacy, the riders are all determined to undertake the journey. We hope it will inspire many other South Africans, whether part of a bike riding club or a canoe club, a stokvel or as individuals, to do their 67 minutes of community action on 18 July, as well as five minutes on Mandela Mondays,” said La Grange.

Empowerment
The foundation explained that the overarching objective of Nelson Mandela Day was to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better, and in so doing build a global movement for good. “Ultimately it seeks to empower communities everywhere. Take action, inspire change and make every day a Mandela Day.

“Individuals and organisations are free to participate in Mandela Day as they wish. We do, however, urge everyone to adhere to the ethical framework of service to one’s fellow human,” it added.

The motorcycle tour is sponsored by Vodacom, Spar, Absa and 46664, the Mandela organisation. “A host of other businesses, media, community projects, municipalities and more have also contributed this year,” said the foundation.

To register a Nelson Mandela Day activity, visit the For Good website. For more information on Nelson Mandela Day and how to get involved visit the website.

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