Cyril Ramaphosa: On Thuma Mina and the spirit of Nelson Mandela

24 May 2018


South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa is hammering in the the campaign that wants to raise developmental public activism amongst South African citizen via the campaign that has come to be known as Thuma Mina.

Translating into Send Me, the Zulu title of the campaign steals from the late Hugh Masekela’s song which in turn takes from the gospel.

In his 2018 budget speech Ramaphosa declared that South Africans have responded massively positive to the Thuma Mina campaign.

Here follows his own words:

At the very heart of our country’s new dawn is a desire by our people to be part of building a brighter tomorrow for all South Africans.

Wherever we go, South Africans from all walks of life say: “Thuma mina”.

They call, they write, they email, they text.

They stop you in the street and they say they want to be there for the poor and the hungry and the homeless.

They want to be there when our economy grows, when we build new factories and create new jobs.

They want to be there when women and children can walk the streets of our beautiful country without fear.

Across the country, there are many people – many of whom who do not have much themselves – who are working to improve the lives of others.

From the churches that are running soup kitchens, to the pensioners who are caring for orphans and the township residents who have set up libraries for local children, South Africans are using their hands to build a better society.

From the professionals who mentor young people, to the businesses that support emerging entrepreneurs and the NGOs who care for the homeless, the elderly and the vulnerable, South Africans are coming forward as agents of meaningful change.

Many more South Africans want to know how they can contribute, how they can make a difference.

In answering this great need, and in celebration of the 100th centenary of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s birth, there is much that we can all do.

On government’s side we will work to improve the lives of South Africans.

There is much that citizens can do.

In memory of Madiba, in recognition of the great sacrifices he made and his tireless commitment to improving the lives of the most vulnerable, there is something is that many of us can do.

We are looking for people with skills, time and commitment to ‘lend a hand’ to these community-based projects through mentoring, training and capacity building.

In this way, we aim to provide South Africans with a tangible opportunity, with a significant impact, to be an integral part of the fight against poverty.

I have decided to contribute to half my Presidential salary to a fund that will be managed by the Nelson Mandela Fund.

This is a private, citizen-driven initiative that will ask all those with the means to contribute a small portion of their salaries to supporting the many small projects that build the nation.

This fund will be launched on the 18th of July to mark the 100th anniversary of Madiba’s birth and will be called the Nelson Mandela Thuma Mina Fund.

Honourable Members,

As we undertake this important work together, as we travel further along the path of growth and transformation, we are imbued with a new spirit.

In truth, it is a spirit rekindled.

It is the spirit of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu, of solidarity, service and a shared humanity.

It is the spirit that moved us to put our wars behind us, to cast aside our differences and to forge a nation of equals.

We have travelled far. We still have much further to go.

By working together, by drawing on all our resources and capabilities, by embracing that unites us and confronting that divides us, I have no doubt that we will reach our destination.

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