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Team SA celebrate Mandela Day

By Mark Etheridge

Team South Africa threw itself into commemorating Mandela Day in Glasgow on Friday as the Commonwealth Games grew ever closer.

The Scottish city went all out in celebrating the birthdate of global icon Nelson Mandela.

A large screen TV played a film of his first visit to the city in October 1993, when he received the Freedom of the City.

The Lord Provost and Councillor Sadie Docherty then announced that the city had commissioned the creating of a bust of Madiba, by sculptor Deirdre Nicholls, that will be unveiled on 9 October, the same date he visited Glasgow to receive the Freedom of the City.

‘It will act as a lasting legacy to the man himself and as a permanent reminder of our city’s long-standing support for the people of South Africa,” said the Lord Provost.

Then it was on to Mandela Place, a venue renamed from its former name of St George’s Place after years of campaigning by the Scottish Committee of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in 1986.

Led by Chef de Mission Patience Shikwambana and Team SA’s management members, some of our boxers and wrestlers then joined the public in a ribbon tying ceremony at the venue.

Local businesses got into the swing of things with one seamstress and taylor business alternating its digital advertising branding in the windows above the street with a photo of Madiba.

The crowd were then entertained by South African’s Mzansi Youth Choir.

Among the speakers was Madiba’s granddaughter Tukwini, pictured with the Mzansi Youth Choir.

She said: Today my grandfather would have been 96. It’s a bittersweet day for us as a family. Bitter because we won’t have those lovely long birthday celebrations with him but then it’s so nice to see how he is being remembered by the world.”

Later in the day some of the team attended the Mandela Day Concert at the Kelvin Grove Art Gallery and Museum, adjoining the venue where our lawn bowlers will be bidding for glory during the games.

Among the entertainers was acclaimed SA musician Hugh Masekela and again, the Mzansi Youth Choir.

Pictures: Wessel Oosthuizen. For free pictures of all Team SA’s activities at these Commonwealth Games go to www.sascocimages.co.za.


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