JOHANNESBURG - As an increasingly vaccinated world starts fighting its way back to a semblance of normality, it's almost time again for the eagerly-anticipated annual Mandela Remembrance Walk and Run (MRWR), taking place this year on Sunday 5 December 2021.
The event, which honours and remembers iconic global statesperson Nelson Mandela, will again take place in hybrid fashion, with the physical form at Tshwane’s Union Buildings for a restricted number of 1000 people, and the virtual form being open to participants globally who wish to take part in this special event.
Covid restrictions forced the bulk of the event to take place virtually last year, which did however give participants from over 22 countries the chance to be part of the MRWR.
Entrants to the event – which has the options of a virtual 5 kilometre walk or 10 and 21 kilometre run – in 2020 came from as far afield as India, Kenya, Nigeria, Portugal, United States, Netherlands, Finland, the United Kingdom, Guatemala and Sudan.
Sello Hatang, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF), is hoping that the event will continue to attract entrants from far and wide this year.
“Madiba was of course a global citizen, and it’s a bittersweet irony that the Covid global pandemic has allowed participants from all across the world to take part in this very special event honouring his life. This period has called on everyone to continue to be resilient and brave and we hope that as many people as possible will choose, safely, to end their year with us at this year’s Mandela Remembrance Walk and Run. It is always an event we eagerly look out for on the calendar and we encourage people to register,” said Hatang.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation hosts the annual event in partnership with the Gauteng Provincial Government, with all proceeds going to support the work of the foundation, which continues the social justice work of Madiba.
Started to commemorate Madiba’s passing on 5 December 2013, the popular annual event hosted from Tshwane’s Union Buildings will be held for the eighth time this year.
Participants for the walk and run can enter online at www.mandelawalkandrun.com
It’s a social event for the fit, the not so fit and the completely unfit, so register and complete the event entry forms, walk or run your choice of distance and you will be awarded a physical medal for taking part at the Union Buildings or a unique virtual medal and certificate to confirm your participation if you took part anywhere in the rest of South Africa or around the world.
Participants who choose to take part virtually can walk or run in their local surroundings, or at any number of sites which are significant to Madiba’s life – around the Union Buildings, to the Victor Verster Prison in Paarl where Madiba was released, Robben Island, or the Grand Parade in Cape Town where he made his first speech as a free person. Or people can run to Parliament, or in Soweto, Mvezo in the Eastern Cape, Houghton in Johannesburg, or the Howick site where he was captured in KwaZulu-Natal.
And there are of course many countries around the world which Madiba visited or in which he has been commemorated that have a special place in his history and journey.
“Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we urge society to join this year’s Mandela Remembrance Walk and Run on our virtual platforms. The event remains a proud project we are part of, and remain committed in honouring our late President Mandela. As we celebrate his memory, may we pause and reflect on the massive contribution and impact he and his generation have had in shaping our current reality, and be inspired to carry on, from where they left off so we may grow our country,” said Gauteng MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Mbali Hlophe.
Entry fees for the Mandela Remembrance Walk and Run are as follows:
10 km = R60
5,10 or 21km Virtually = R60
US$5 – Runners from the rest of the African continent (all distances)
US$10 – International runners from the rest of the world (all distances)
All proceeds raised will be donated to the Nelson Mandela Foundation to continue promoting Madiba's legacy.