BY, Brett Tollman
Chief Executive, TTC
“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”
– Nelson Mandela
Greetings from London,
As a proud, dual citizen of South Africa & the USA, these past few days marks a special milestone in my beloved birth country, the 100th birthday anniversary of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Millions of people are celebrating Mandela’s enduring legacy which continues to inspire citizens across the world to make a difference and bring about positive change. Our Red Carnation team members in South Africa, including the 12 Apostles and the Oyster Box Hotels, were doing special initiatives to honor his centenary through service and compassion including making meals for those in need in Cape Town and providing care bags for TAFTA (The Association for the Aged) in Durban.
I had the great honor of briefly meeting President Mandela in 1997, when I attended Davos with my wife Miranda. The iconic, inspirational Nobel Peace Prize winner captured and captivated the world’s attention with his forgiving, true statesman qualities – so magnanimous, compassionate and a true world leader. Admired by everyone. When he walked out of jail after 27 years in prison, he embraced peaceful transition and led South Africa away from awful apartheid to majority rule.
During his remaining years, he also pursued a variety of social causes, such as bringing forth women’s rights, delivering better opportunities for impoverished rural children and promoting scientific research throughout Africa. During his last years, he was a magnificent shining symbol and example for the civil rights movements worldwide.