Korean business community helps nurture Nelson Mandela’s legacy
“Young people read comics. The hope is that the elementary reading of comics will lead them to the joy of reading books. That joy has been mine all my life, and it’s one I wish for all South Africans.” – Nelson Mandela
On 28 November 2012, a group of delegates representing the local Korean business community and the Embassy of the Republic of Korea gathered at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory to hand over a generous donation of books.
Delegates from the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, The Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, H.E. Yoon Lee and representatives from Korean businesses Hyundai Engineering and Construction, Posco and Ksure Korean Trade Insurance Corporation, jointly handed over the donation, a R70 000 project that saw the publishing of around 700 copies of Nelson Mandela – The Authorised Comic.
The Authorised Comic tells the story of the life and times of Mr Mandela, a young herd boy who grew up to be South Africa’s first democratically-elected president.
Centre of Memory CEO Achmat Dangor accepted the donation, which will be implemented in Mandela Day container libraries across the country to help foster and grow the understanding of Madiba’s life legacy.
“We thank you for this wonderful gift, an investment into education, that will be distributed to container libraries across the country,” he said. “Our aim is to improve the literacy and basic education of South Africa’s youth so that they are better able to create wealth for themselves and improve their livelihood,” Dangor added.
Mandela Day Programme Manager Frank Meintjies explained that South Africa currently has three container libraries per province, many of them in schools that lie outside of the cities, others in rural areas.
“These comic books tell the story of Nelson Mandela in an easy-to-read format, which will be used as reference material and library books in the container libraries and will help foster a greater understanding of Mr Mandela,” he said.
The books can also be used as an educational resource in the Social Sciences, Language and Life Orientation curricula. This latest edition includes a teachers’ guide and an activity listing, both of which are designed to help educators illustrate the values espoused by Mr Mandela.
The Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, H.E. Yoon Lee, thanked Mr Dangor for receiving the delegates, adding that around 4 000 Korean people live and work in South Africa.
“Approximately 20 Korean companies have offices in the Gauteng area,” he said. “Collectively, we will continue to make small contributions to the Centre of Memory in honour of Mr Mandela, a man who is greatly respected in Korea.”
Mr Meintjies urged the delegates to take part in Mandela Day activities next year, apart from giving money and resources to the Centre. “We invite you to carry Mr Mandela’s legacy forward by doing work in local communities in 2013,” he said.