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Nelson Mandela Day 2022 - “Do what you can, with what you have, wherever you are”
Author: Chevaan Peters
Published: 13/07/2022

​This year, Stellenbosch University's Student Representative Council collaborates with Matie Community Service (MGD) housed within the Division for Social Impact, the Transformation Office, Human Resources Wellness and the Language Centre, to commemorate Mandela Day.

In November 2009, the United Nations (UN) officially declared Nelson Mandela International Day “Mandela Day", an annual celebration of Mandela's legacy on 18 July. It serves as a global call for individuals to give of their time to a charity or good cause to improve or have a meaningful impact on society.

This year's SU's Mandela Day is located within the global theme “Do what you can, with what you have, wherever you are", the focus will be to honour Stellenbosch university students. We would like to acknowledge their significant role in highlighting critical concerns around inequality, gender-based violence, racism, decolonized education, financial exclusion, the #FallistMovements and other painful experiences of students within the higher education sector.

Historically, student activism has been a crucial force for social change during times of crisis. In recent decades, students around the world have led movements to promote democracy and human rights. Students have often served as nations' conscience, bringing to light the founding ideals of their countries and the aspirations of all people for justice, dignity, and equality during turbulent times.

Students are the heart of this institution. They have tirelessly and boldly stood at the forefront advocating for radical institutional transformation to a enable a space of belonging for all say Hector-Kannemeyer Head Matie Community Service and Deputy-Director: Division for Social Impact. Matie Community Service supports the call of the SRC to honour student activism within Stellenbosch University as part of our Mandela Day celebrations for 2022 and our institutional commitment to a transformative student experience.

While the official Mandela Day takes place on 18 July, this year, SU's activities on the Stellenbosch campus will take place from the first week of the new semester when students are back on campus. This year, Nelson Mandela International Day happens to coincide with the return of all students and staff back 'home' for the first time in almost two and a half years. Although this call needs to go beyond what is planned for Mandela day, we invite the SU students, staff and community to reflect, participate and partner with us for this upcoming Mandela month celebrations.

The Student Representative Council, supported by Matie Community Service (MGD), Transformation Office, Human Resources Wellness and the Language Centre, invite you to join the planned Mandela Day events fully cognisant of the ongoing challenging environment students have to navigate in order to continue their learning journeys.

On the 19th of July at the Neelsie, Level 3: VV Hall:

From 09:00 – 16:00 Human Resources Wellness is providing a Discovery Wellness Experience for staff and students. The Discovery Wellness Experience is an interactive screening where key body metrics and blood tests are performed. Wellness screenings are important because you will find out about your current health and lifestyle risks and receive advise on what to do about identified risks. A full screening takes between 35 to 40 minutes to complete. You will receive a comprehensive report on your health and wellness after the screening.

A professional Wellness Specialist will perform the following screening assessments at the Discovery Wellness Experience:

  • Glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure tests
  • A postural assessment
  • An eye assessment
  • Weight, height and body mass index (BMI) measurements
  • An HIV test.

If you choose to have an HIV test done, the Wellness Specialist will provide counselling before and after you take the test. Your HIV test results are kept completely confidential.

Vitality members

Vitality members can earn thousands of points after a Discovery Wellness Experience, depending on how many results are in a healthy range. At each status level, members over 18 can enjoy a variety of rewards including half-price movies, flight savings, cash back on groceries, fuel savings, weekly rewards and more.

All you need to know

  • Bring your medical aid membership card and ID or driver's license
  • Dress comfortably - you need to be barefoot for some checks (no socks or stockings)
  • Complete the pre-assessment questionnaire before your Discovery Wellness Experience. You will receive a link to the questionnaire with your booking confirmation.

Click here to book your spot.

From 12:30 – 14:30, we wish to provide an experience that promotes student well-being, including the distribution of the Mandela Booster Box Challenge that aims to exceed the provision of 200 comfort boxes for returning students most in need of care. Will you take up the challenge? Contact Cheryl Cornelissen at and make a pledge.

The Student Representative Council at Tygerberg campus is also joining the Mandela Booster Boxes pledge and Isabella Turner can be contacted to get involved. Contact Isabella at If you wish to get involved and make your pledge.

An initiative driven by the Student Representative Council of Tygerberg, “Together we CAN alleviate food insecurity on Tygerberg Campus" is inviting the contribution of canned food products at collection points in the Admin building and in the TSS. Many students are silently battling food insecurity and the aim is to assist students with products that will strengthen their food security and allow them to focus on other spheres of their life, such as the enjoyment of being a student.

In the spirit of Nelson Mandela Day, the Tygerberg Student Representative Council, will be doing 67 minutes of a can-for-cupcake or can-for-MyBrew-coffee exchange. A limited number of cupcakes will be available in the Admin building and a limited number of coffees will be available in TSS between 12:30 – 13:37, together we CAN!

Additionally, only at the Stellenbosch campus, staff and students on a first come first serve basis can receive neck, shoulder, head, and feet massages (15min) and a cappuccino and cinnamon pancake (limited amount of vouchers available).

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead." – Nelson Mandela

On the 22nd of July at the Attie van Wijk Auditorium (Faculty of Theology):

From 12:30 – 14:30 the Faculty of Theology has made available the Attie van Wijk Auditorium for the hosting of the Mandela Day lecture titled: Centring Agency: Womxn transcending victimhood hosted by the Transformation Office, the Student Representative Council, Matie Community Service (MGD) housed within the Division for Social Impact will be delivered by Author of “Becoming Him – A Trans Memoir of Triumph" LandaMabenge. A unique tale of torture and triumph bravely exposes cultural shame and abuse against those who choose the path less travelled.  

​“We don't have to be victims of our past, that we can let go of our bitterness, and that all of us can achieve greatness." – Nelson Mandela

RSVP by 19 July 2022 to avoid disappointment (limited space available): Inquiries: Ms. Shanté Neff –

On the 26th of July at the CoCreate Hub:

Nelson Mandela is remembered by the world for his life, his leadership, and his commitment to human rights and humanitarian causes. In conclusion, commemorating the spirit of Madiba and his vision to spread social justice and freedom for all, a Celebration of Excellence from 17:00pm – 19:00pm will be held at CoCreate Hub, 7 Victoria St, Stellenbosch, on 26 July 2022.​

The purpose of this event is to celebrate excellence in business, social entrepreneurship, art, design, poetry, culinary skills, music from local and student entrepreneurs and artists. 

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living."Nelson Mandela ​

To encounter this limited experience, RSVP by 22 July 2022: ​ Inquiries: Ms. Tamlyn February –  ​ 

* Staff can send details of planned activities to by Friday, 15 July 2022. The information will be used to compile a list of all SU Mandela Day activities for July 2022.