We were excited and honoured to attend this special, moving and inspiring event, together with young people from our Civics Academy and other partners, and as part of an audience of about 3000 people. Mam Graça Machel, NMF Chairperson Prof. Njabulo Ndebele, Executive Director of United Nations Women Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Josina Machel, founder of the Kuhluka Movement, renowned author Redi Tlhabi and Sello Hatang, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, shared the stage with Oprah Winfrey and gave memorable contributions.
The event, which included performances by renowned South African artists Zonke and Bongeni Ngema, was marking the centenary of Madiba's birth during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence in South Africa, highlighting the need to continue the struggle against patriarchy and for the rights of women to dignity, safety and equality. Mandela often spoke about the need to truly liberate women, and he once said "Peace is not just the absence of conflict; peace is the creation of an environment where all can flourish regardless of race, color, creed, religion, gender, class, caste, or any other social markers of difference."
To watch the powerful, reflective speech Oprah Winfrey gave to a very receptive, enthusiastic audience, follow this link:
Read this informative statement by the Nelson Mandela Foundation about the background and the contributions during this high profile event which was extensively covered by international media as well: