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Nelson Mandela Foundation

Title:
Lighting your way to a better future
Sub-title:
Speech delivered by Mr N R Mandela at launch of Mindset Network

Item type: Address
Acquisition method: From website
Source: http://www.mindset.co.za/
Unique ID: NMS909


Notes

Description notes: 
Nelson Mandela departed substantially from his prepared speech. We have reproduced both the verbatim speech and the prepared speech.


Presentation(s)

Occasion: Launch of Mindset Network
Place: Planetarium, University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg South Africa
Date:  Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Transcript

Verbatim speech

Honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen.

It’s not very easy for me to speak when Minister Kader is around.

He served in my cabinet and we gave him the nickname of ‘Minister for All Portfolios’ because on any subject he would speak with greater authority than the person who was appointed to investigate that topic.

So in 1999 I went to the States and I said to Oprah Winfrey, ‘I want $10 million for my Foundation. She says, ‘Oh the Foundation is something small, what else can I do?’ I nearly broke her neck because the Foundation was the organisation which I was promoting and for her to say, ‘No no the Foundation is something small what else can I do?’ But she later, during the conversation, this was in October 1999, she said, ‘Alright, on the 19th of December I will be in your village, Qunu.’

And indeed she kept that promise. She came down and gave me $10 million. And [she] said, ‘$10 million to establish a school for girls.’ Now, I had never had such an experience and I asked, ‘Would you mind if I give this 10 million to the Minster of Education because he’s the most competent person to handle this amount?’ She had no objection. So when the money came I gave it to Minister Kader Asmal. Then there was another organisation here in South Africa, led by Mr Joubert. When he saw that I had interest in education, he then gave me R500 000 to establish scholarships for various students. I said to him, ‘Look I don’t have the infrastructure to check whether students belong to needy parents but I have discovered that three students who belonged to well-to-do parents, they are given money to go and pay fees at university and a friend says, ‘Why waste money, just go and bank it for yourself and go to the old man and tell him that you are needy. You want money.’ When I found that three students had done this, I then said, ‘No let this matter be handled by Minister Kader.’ And that’s what is happening now.

And I also got, I don’t know whether I have mentioned this – I am an old man, I forget things which I have just said now. Now, the monies that I receive for education, I have been giving them to Minister Kader Asmal because as I told you he served under me as President and we gave him this nickname of ‘Minister of All Portfolios’ and because of that whenever I have got money for education I pass it on to him. And that $10 million, he is handling it. He hasn’t given me a report, but I know, I know that that money will be used properly for the purpose for which it has been voted.

Well, ladies and gentlemen

Thank you for joining us this evening at this celebration of the launch of Mindset Network, an educational satellite multimedia network and its first channel, called Activate.

South Africa inherited a highly dysfunctional educational system from the Apartheid era. It is our one of our major tasks of reconstruction to build an educational system that provides quality opportunities for all our people. It is fundamentally important that our children are prepared to compete with confidence in the international arena. We need to ensure that every one of our children has access to a world class, quality education. And the teaching of maths, science and English is a major national priority, as more of our children need to excel in these subjects.

The Department of Education is doing a sterling job in making this possible and I am also particularly proud of the work of corporate South Africa in supporting the department in country-changing education initiatives. This is one such initiative we are launching tonight.

I have long been impressed with the work of the Liberty Foundation which has made huge strides with the Learning Channel on television over the last 13 years. This has proven very successful and made an immeasurable difference in the lives of countless learners and teachers. But it is only available a couple of hours a week. What South Africa really needed was to take this innovation to the next level. We needed a dedicated education channel which could offer a great deal of content and resources to all South African learners and educators.

How superb that this has been made possible by a number of companies. I understand that some of these companies are competitors. That these organisations are standing side by side and working together is another testimony to that great ability of South Africans to overcome differences and obstacles. It is for that reason that so many regard us as a nation built on the miraculous.

I so want to pay homage and give my personal thanks to those at Liberty, Standard Bank, PanAmSat, Multichoice Africa, the Sunday Times, Sentech and of course those at the Nelson Mandela Foundation for stepping forward to make this possible.

In March last year I discovered that one of my officers in the Foundation had about 20 children who want to go to university. I was in difficulties but I used the fact that I am an old man – it is not easy for anybody to say no to an old man – so I phoned Anglo American, Standard Bank, Nedbank and Absa. I say, ‘Look I have got 20 children here who have to go to university and I want you to take five.’ They agreed. Then I went to Standard Bank and I said, ‘I want you to take five.’ They agreed. Then I went to Nedbank, I said ‘I want you to take five.’ They agreed. I went to Absa. They agreed. So all those 20 children – within 15 minutes were accepted. Now, that is why I have said several times I was born and brought up in South Africa, now I am little over 100 years old but I say no no no I’m in my eighties in order to be accepted by you. But I have said it is as if I’m in a new South Africa because no business person I’ve gone to to say, ‘Look our children, there are competent children who need to go to university or to a technikon’ and none of them have said no. So to be an old man is very nice because as a young man I didn’t get the support I’m getting today.

I also want to thank those people who work at Mindset Network for all you have done so quickly to get this project up and running. It is hard to believe that you managed to get so far in such a short time. It is simply remarkable what people can do in a year when there is a great need and the time is right.

The support of schools, and particularly those in rural areas, has long been a matter near to my heart. In fact there are many of you in the audience today who probably quiver when you see me because you know that I believe we can all do more in this area!

There is here, Liberty Life – where is the husband of Wendy [Applebaum]? Now when I phone them before they know what I’m going to say, they say ‘How much?’ So I’ve become very unpopular but nevertheless they haven’t got the courage to say to an old man, ‘No no no we can’t help you.’ And every time I appeal to them they respond very positively.

As you know I am also passionate about dealing with our healthcare challenges, particularly in the area of HIV/Aids. I will spend the rest of my days trying to help secure a more educated and healthier South Africa. I am therefore relieved to hear that Mindset Network will also be launching a channel which will be dedicated to healthcare issues, one that will target both healthcare workers and patients all over the country.

But one of the problems that we have is one of stigma. When somebody has HIV people don’t want to deal with him. I can quote many example of this. I went to one of our well-known provinces with a very progressive Premier and in the course of the conversation they said, ‘Look next door, both parents have died of AIDS, leaving three children. The eldest is eight, the next is four and the youngest is two. They stay all alone.’ So I say, ‘Well, can I go and see them?’ They say, ‘No, that’s very good we are also taking food to them. Now when we reached the house they didn’t come near. They called them and the children appear. They put the food in a plastic [bag] and when they appear they throw the plastic at them. I was so disappointed that I went inside and I spent about 25 to 30 minutes inside following the example of Lady Diana who has done that many times. Now as we were going there they were singing freedom songs, also about myself, but when I came out nobody wanted to come near me. And as I walked to them they started diplomatically moving away. But I wanted to make sure that they were avoiding me now, so I quickened my pace and they almost ran away. I had to go back to my car. Now that stigma is something that we have to fight because the stigma itself, apart from the disease, the illness, can kill people when they are shunned by their own brothers and sisters; when they are not regarded as human beings. That loss of confidence that ‘we will overcome this illness’, is due sometimes to people succumbing to aids.

Now I often tell people – and I do this with the permission of my family – I tell people that in jail I contracted TB I then went to my friends, Walter Sisulu and others and I said to them, ‘Look I am found to have TB and I thought you should know.’ They were very glum and Mr Sisulu later called me out and he says, ‘Man, you must not tell us about these things, these things are personal.’ ‘Oh I see, what’s personal about that because the doctors know. They are going to start talking about it. You are going to hear from them, not from me. I have TB, you must know this.’ But the old man didn’t agree with me. So there is no use in hiding even a what-you-call, a disease which is terminal. You must let that to be known. Then as you know, I contracted cancer of the prostate. I called the press and informed them and I told them that I have confidence in our doctors. If, for some reason, they do not succeed, and I go to the next world, the first thing I’ll do when I reach there is to look for the nearest branch of the ANC and join, ja. And then secondly, I’ll look for billionaires in that world because I know the poor are everywhere. And I’m going to say to them, ‘Raise money because those children want to go to school in that world. Ja. But fortunately you know some doctors and some of my advisors said, ‘No no no you have cancer, go to the States.’ I say, ‘If I do that I’ll be passing a vote of no confidence in my own doctors. I won’t do that.’ When they persuaded me I say, ‘OK if I die, you have such confidence in the doctors of the United States, if I die then please take my corpse to the United States to wake it up. Ja.’ Well our doctors cured my cancer and three different experts have found that my blood is free of cancer – South African doctors. But if I had gone to the United States of America, I would have passed a vote of no confidence on my own doctors. So you must just bear that in mind that our duty when we are ill is to our doctors not to do anything to show that they are not as competent as doctors elsewhere.

With its focus on education and healthcare, the network is addressing the same key issues of the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund. It was therefore obvious that my foundation would pledge its support to this initiative.

I would appeal to every single South African, every South African organisation and to our friends internationally to support Mindset Network. It is a project which will surely make a significant difference to the lives of millions of South Africans and even those beyond our borders.

What is particularly exciting about this project is that it is potentially a solution to education challenges in other countries. We are developing something that has application around the world.

Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world and Mindset Network is a powerful part of that world changing arsenal. I would now like to make a presentation to two very deserving schools. I will be presenting a Mindset Network receiving kit so that these schools will be able to receive the education channel Activate which currently runs twelve hours each day.

I firstly call on the head of department of Science at Mount Ayliff Secondary school near Kokstad, Goodman Zingisile Cele, as well as two grade twelves, Phumezo Joyi and Phumzile Nonduku. Where is Phumezo Joyi? Are you the Joyi? You belong to the Royal Family? You deny that you belong to the Royal Family? You don’t know that the Joyis are members of the Royal House? You know that? Now before this crowd you deny it. OK [chuckles] So to whom do I give it? I see, OK. Good. [Hands over the globe award] Thank you. Thank you. [Holding another award] OK. One of you. Mention the name? [Mrs Machel says ‘Another school will be coming now’. Ja quite. Yes? Very good. How old are you? [Fifteen] Fifteen? Aha and what are you going to do when you pass matric? [Im going to do Chemistry] Chemistry? Oh that’s very good. Very good. Thank you. [The next one says: I’d like to wish you a happy birthday] OK Thank you very much. Thank you. Thanks a million.

Mount Ayliff has almost 1200 learners and 52 educators and is situated more than 30km from the nearest town. It is a school in the Eastern Cape which is part of a pilot of 50 schools participating in the rural schools development programme initiated by my Foundation. But before I go further you know people don’t notice what I do in other provinces. They notice what I do in the Transkei and some teacher who has a degree, phones Dr Ntatho Motlana and says, ‘Please tell Madiba that South Africa is busy, is bigger than the Transkei. He is always doing good things for the Transkei, never for the whole country.’ So I said, ‘Now what did you say to him?’ He said, ‘No I said I will tell you.’ I said, ‘Did you not tell him that I took your company Nail to Venda with 10 million, five million for King Mphephu, five million for King Tshivashe?’ he says, ‘No I forgot.’ I said, ‘Before you continue talking to me, phone him now and tell him. Ja.’ No he did that. But when I told this to a reporter of Sowetan, he says, ‘No, my wife told me last night when I said I’m going to see you, [she] says ‘Please tell Tata not to concentrate on the Transkei only. The other provinces also want his support.’ So people don’t see what I’m doing in other provinces, they only see what I do for the Eastern Cape. So now when you go home please just say, ‘No Tata is doing everything for all the provinces. You’ll help me a great deal.’

Now, the Foundation's studies have shown that even though impoverished, Mount Ayliff is doing well in terms of governance, leadership and commitment.

The principal Mr. Nyembezi, who is away at a Winter School for learners, is a visionary and highly competent person. He is supported by staff that are as committed and go more than the extra mile.

Because I am no longer a young man I am handing you this globe in the place of a TV set, a satellite dish, a decoder, a video and a smart card as well educator training and support. I want to give the package to your school, as I know it will open up a world of possibilities for you all. Well, I’ve already handed over the globe, haven’t I? Thank you [accepting a glass of water].

I now call on the principal of Letsibogo High School, Ellen Kondowe, as well as the head girl, Lerato Mabogoane, and acting head girl, Mamato Zwane. Where are they? Oh I see, I’ve already called them. I’m so sorry. Just remember I’m an old man, you know? And there are things I do which I forget. Very good. Yes? How are you? [shaking hands with a woman]. Very nice to see you. Very nice.

Now this school is situated in Meadowlands and has 719 girls attending with a staff complement of 25 teachers. It is part of the Dinaledi Project aimed at improving Maths and Science results. Letsibogo is a partner school to St. Stithians which works with the school to improve its Science results. Teachers at the school are committed to the programme and attend weekly exchange workshops with St. Stithians. Clearly Letsibogo High School is making an excellent effort.

I’ve already handed over the globe. I wish all of you every success in your educational efforts.

I thank you.


Prepared speech

Lighting your way to a better future

Honoured guests, Ladies and gentlemen

Thank you for joining us this evening at this celebration of the launch of Mindset Network, an educational satellite multimedia network and its first channel, called Activate.

South Africa inherited a highly dysfunctional educational system from the Apartheid era. It is our one of our major tasks of reconstruction to build an educational system that provides quality opportunities for all our people. It is fundamentally important that our children are prepared to compete with confidence in the international arena. We need to ensure that every one of our children has access to a world class, quality education. And the teaching of maths, science and English is a major national priority, as more of our children need to excel in these subjects.

The Department of Education is doing a sterling job in making this possible and I am also particularly proud of the work of corporate South Africa in supporting the department in country-changing education initiatives. This is one such initiative we are launching tonight.

I have long been impressed with the work of the Liberty Foundation which has made huge strides with the Learning Channel on television over the last 13 years. This has proven very successful and made an immeasurable difference in the lives of countless learners and teachers. But it is only available a couple of hours a week. What South Africa really needed was to take this innovation to the next level. We needed a dedicated education channel which could offer a great deal of content and resources to all South African learners and educators.

How superb that this has been made possible by a number of companies. I understand that some of these companies are competitors. That these organisations are standing side by side and working together is another testimony to that great ability of South Africans to overcome differences and obstacles. It is for that reason that so many regard us as a nation built on the miraculous.

I so want to pay homage and give my personal thanks to those at Liberty, Standard Bank, PanAmSat, Multichoice Africa, the Sunday Times, Sentech and of course those at the Nelson Mandela Foundation for stepping forward to make this possible.

I also want to thank those people who work at Mindset Network for all you have done so quickly to get this project up and running. It is hard to believe that you managed to get so far in such a short time. It is simply remarkable what people can do in a year when there is a great need and the time is right.

The support of schools, and particularly those in rural areas, has long been a matter near to my heart. In fact there are many of you in the audience today who probably quiver when you see me because you know that I believe we can all do more in this area!

As you know I am also passionate about dealing with our healthcare challenges, particularly in the area of HIV/Aids. I will spend the rest of my days trying to help secure a more educated and healthier South Africa. I am therefore relieved to hear that Mindset Network will also be launching a channel which will be dedicated to healthcare issues, one that will target both healthcare workers and patients all over the country.

With its focus on education and healthcare, the network is addressing the same key issues of the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund. It was therefore obvious that my foundation would pledge its support to this initiative.

I would appeal to every single South African, every South African organisation and to our friends internationally to support Mindset Network. It is a project which will surely make a significant difference to the lives of millions of South Africans and even those beyond our borders.

What is particularly exciting about this project is that it is potentially a solution to education challenges in other countries. We are developing something that has application around the world.

Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world and Mindset Network is a powerful part of that world changing arsenal. I would now like to make a presentation to two very deserving schools. I will be presenting a Mindset Network receiving kit so that these schools will be able to receive the education channel Activate which currently runs twelve hours each day.

I firstly call on the head of department of Science at Mount Ayliff Secondary school near Kokstad, Goodman Zingisile Cele, as well as two grade twelves, Phumezo Joyi and Phumzile Nonduku.

Mount Ayliff has almost 1200 learners and 52 educators and is situated more than 30km from the nearest town. It is a school in the Eastern Cape which is part of a pilot of 50 schools participating in the rural schools development programme initiated by my Foundation.

The Foundation's studies have shown that even though impoverished, Mount Ayliff is doing well in terms of governance, leadership and commitment.

The principal Mr. Nyembezi, who is away at a Winter School for learners, is a visionary and highly committed person. He is supported by staff that are as committed and go more than the extra mile.

Because I am no longer a young man I am handing you this globe in the place of a TV set, a satellite dish, a decoder, a video and a smart card as well educator training and support. I want to give the package to your school, as I know it will open up a world of possibilities for you all.

HAND OVER THE GLOBE OF THE WORLD AND POSE FOR PHOTOS

I now call on the principal of Letsibogo High School, Ellen Kondowe, as well as the head girl, Lerato Mabogoane, and acting head girl, Mamato Zwane.

This school is situated in Meadowlands and has 719 girls attending with a staff complement of 25 teachers. It is part of the Dinaledi Project aimed at improving Maths and Science results. Letsibogo is a partner school to St. Stithians which works with the school to improve its Science results. Teachers at the school are committed to the programme and attend weekly exchange workshops with St. Stithians. Clearly Letsibogo High School is making an excellent effort.

HAND OVER THE GLOBE OF THE WORLD AND POSE FOR PHOTOS

I wish all of you every success in your educational efforts.

I thank you.



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