Mandela Day, The Cheesekids Way

Brand South Africa is currently running an Active Citizenship Campaign to encourage South Africans to participate in society, instead of simply waiting for someone – government, business, etc – to do something about something. Cheesekids for Humanity, for me, is a volunteer organisation that epitomises this spirit. Started by a group of young people – led by Shaka Sisulu – who felt it important to do “what we can to make our world better by putting our most valuable resource – time, and our backs – into various communities that could do with a little hand”, it has grown immensely in the last couple of years, gradually reaching into communities across the country.

In this time, volunteers have “built, plastered and painted houses; cleaned-up schools; washed orphans’ clothes; picked up litter; fed and clothed the homeless, indigent and abused; planted vege-gardens and de-weed lawns; read to, played and given smiles to kids across Soweto, Thembisa, Alexandra, Diepsloot, Mamelodi, inner-city Johannesburg, Orange Farm, Khayalitsha and many other places of desolation across SA.”

Last year, for Nelson Mandela Day on July 18, 2000 volunteers – a lot from the middle to upper echelons of society – went out to bring a little light to their fellow citizens. This year, for Mandela Day, Cheesekids is marking the day by “enabling 6,700 South African’s to DO 67 minutes of community service across 3 cities (Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban) on Sunday 17th July 2011 (the day before Mandela Day) between the hours of 8:30am and 4:30pm.”

The details are as follows:

In each city we will have bus shuttles taking registered attendees to different community service projects. The attendees simply pick the projects when they arrive at the rally point. These projects include beautifying schools, cleaning homes, building and painting homes and schools, gardening, cooking, playing with kids, vocational guidance, a sports clinic and blood donation drives. The projects are spread across 12 different townships in Gauteng, Cape Town and Durban. All projects and rally points will be unveiled after registrations close on Saturday 16th July @ 12pm. This is to ensure that we can comfortably manage the final number of attendees (up to a maximum of 5,500 in Johannesburg, 800 in Cape Town and 400 in Durban). Don’t worry, we’ll share this with you long before then…

Registering to attend is very simple and thanks to our partners, specifically Old Mutual, it’s free. Would-be attendees go to See simple 5-step instructions to registering for our Mandela Day event in one of the 3 cities.


As it is a Sunday, children are welcome in all cities as all events are child-friendly. Food and beverages will be available at all Rally Points. Every rally point and project site will have facilities as well as celebrity hosts throughout the day.

In Johannesburg, the day will close with an After-Party concert at the Johannesburg rally-point featuring artists the likes of HHP, AKA, JR, Khuli Chana, Nothende, Ihashi Elimhlope, Jozi and many more from 4.30pm onwards.


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