Nelson Mandela delivered a speech on the eve of his 90th birthday declaring, “it is in your hands now.” The United Nations officially declared Mandela’s birthday, July 18th, as a national holiday in South Africa that honors his dedication to the service of humanity. I have the privilege of working alongside the team at JAM International to develop events for Mandela Day this year. I cannot fathom my excitement for the events we are organizing (or should i write organising with an s because as our writer at JAM would say to me, “Americans can’t spell.”) I don’t want to give away any hints to the content, but I can assure you that it is going to be big! Follow Joint Aid Management- International on Facebook as we begin to share content.
Creative planning for these Mandela Day events has consisted of conceptualizing creative content for a social media campaign, sending it to a designer, getting the content approved, and implementing the content into a creative schedule. Logistics planning consists of finding venues in cities completely foreign to me, discerning which places will have the highest traffic, booking these venues, and organizing teams and entertainment for the day of the event. I am having so much fun with this!
I am also very excited to be bringing my passion for music into this workspace. This week, I have organized meetings with South African musicians to come learn about JAM and begin brainstorming how we can use music as a mechanism for social change in this country.
My sweet friend Samuel in Cape Town and I were able to brainstorm together early this week on a project to honor Mandela’s legacy and partner with JAM. I could not be more excited to share the final product with you! Samuel is a musician that shares his music and covers on Youtube. You can check his videos out here: Samuel Music.
I had the privilege of meeting with the kind and humble Nhalnhla Majozi (pictured above.) We captured his reaction to the work JAM is doing and he shared a bit of his personal story. I can not wait to share this content. It was truly so raw and powerful! Major and I also got to bond over our favorite lines from The Office and New Girl. What a cool guy! Here’s one of Majozi’s music videos: Majozi-Fire
I also got to catch up with an old pal, Ruan Kruger who co owns Station Coffee Co., teaches music, and is in multiple successful Afrikaans bands in South Africa. This guy radiates joy! If you’re ever in Potchefstroom, South Africa you need to visit his coffee shop, because that coffee is seriously next level. Better yet, they partner with socially responsible products to have a mission centered business. Ruan & I also bonded over our love for superheroes. With his entrepreneurial mind and creative energy, we walked away with so much inspiration! Social Entrepreneur-Superheros unite! Check out his band here: Moses Metro Man -Mooirivier
I am looking forward to this weekend. I will be attending Neighbour Goods market in the heart of Johannesburg with our new graphic designer, Chane. She is a star! We will also be exploring some vinyl shops as her husband is a collector. On Sunday, my pal Mischa and I are going to watch Matthew Mole & Shortstraw play a gig at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens. These are some artists I connected with last time I was in South Africa. I will report back to you with footage!
I’m also having my friend Daniel teach me an Afrikaans phrase everyday. So today, I leave you with this:
“jy mooi kyk vandag,” which means, “You look beautiful today.”
“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”