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Have South African Businesses Lost The True Spirit of Mandela Day?

Have South African businesses lost the true spirit of Mandela day?

The first Nelson Mandela International Day, Mandela day as it is more commonly known, took place on the 18 July 2009. The 18 July is Mandela's birthday and the campaign behind this day was to give back to the community and help those in need. 

This spirit seems to have been lost in recent years, and more and more we see companies trying to piggyback off this day for their financial gain.

The Mandela Day campaign message

First established by the Nelson Mandela Foundation. People were asked to donate 67 minutes of their time to help others. The 67 minutes was to represent 67 years Nelson Mandela spent fighting for social justice in South Africa. The Mandela Day campaign set out to the achieve the following:
  • Fight poverty
  • Promote peace
  • Aid reconciliation
  • Cultural diversity
The time dedicated was to the cause is purely selfless - no self-gain, do good deeds and give back to those less fortunate and promote positivity and harmony in South Africa.

Celebrating The Mandela Day

I remember back in 2009 the company I worked for was teaming with eager employees looking to join causes to contribute there 67 minutes. 

Everything was tackled from making sandwiches for the poor to donating time and to upskills those could not afford to study. 

The "gees" was high and the spirit of Mandela day was authentically represented. Fast forward to 2018 and a lot of that eagerness to give back is still alive but many companies, especially the smaller ones see it as a day to make an extra buck or two.

Business capitalizing off the spirit of Mandela Day

Over the past few years and even more so this year we have seen some companies piggybacking off Mandela Day to advertise sales or move their merchandise faster. I've seen brands directly referencing:
  1. Mandela Day Sale
  2. Mandela Day Deals
  3. Rxx off when you purchase for Rxxx on Mandela Day
  4. Purchase 67(something), and we will donate 67 of something.
All the above is enticing users to get something for themselves and the brands directly benefit. I'm all for creative marketing but Why Capitalise Off Something Good and Clean for Money and Sales

Mandela day is not Black Friday, Christmas, Easter or Valentines day (two of which are religious holidays butchered by retailers to make loads of money). Why kill the spirit and turn something constructive into another money making charade??

Did our Parents and Grandparents fight for equality so we can use their memory to purely for financial gain?

Use your influence for good

If you have a big audience and customer base use your power and influence appropriately. There are lots of opportunities to run sales and promotions, but if you have the chance to promote unity and peace in our nation do that. I assure you the gains are much higher, and there will be more blessings and goodness in your business.

We would love to hear from you

If you have an opinion about on butchering community events for financial gain or would like to chat strategy then comment below or contact us here.

Tags: South Africa, Branding, Strategy , Non Profit

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