Tue | Nov 21, 2017

Third celebration of Mandela Day in Jamaica

Published:Saturday | July 19, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Mathu Joyini (right) South African Ambassador to Jamaica, chats with past and present students of Middleton Primary School in St.Thomas while she and members of her staff visited in observance of Nelson Mandela Day. They donated books to the school library and interacted with residents. - Ian Allen/Staff Photographer

Alessandro Boyd, Gleaner Writer

SOUNDS OF laughter echoed across the Middleton Primary School in St Thomas yesterday, as several students, teachers and members of the surrounding communities took part in the Mandela Day activities.

This has been the third year since the inception of Mandela Day in Jamaica, and Mathu Joyini, South African High Commissioner to Jamaica, is absolutely elated with how it has grown over the years.

"I am grateful that more individuals and organisations have been associating themselves with this initiative. More and more people are asking what they can do for the 67 minutes," she told The Gleaner.

Jamaicans were urged to spend at least 67 minutes of their time yesterday assisting others. Joyini stated that the idea of 67 minutes came about because it is estimated that Mandela spent 67 of his 95 years serving his fellow men across the world.

"We are focusing on literacy this year, because we were here last year and they told us that the library needed books, so we brought some," she said.

"Sagicor also brought books, Amina Blackwood-Meeks is a wonderful storyteller, Tony Rebel sang for the kids and the Reggae Girlz played games with the children. Today (Friday) has been such a good day," Joyini added.

Lola Frazer, principal of the Middleton Primary School, placed emphasis on how happy the students were with the proceedings.

"The feedback from the students has been tremendous, even the whole community has come to see what this day is like, this is going well with everybody," she said.