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Mandela Washington Fellows Honor Anti-Apartheid Icon

  • Ntungamili Nkomo

Mandela Washington Fellowship candidates at California University in the U.S. were set to honor former South African president Nelson Mandela Friday ahead of the official Mandela Day celebrations Saturday.

The fellows had a number of activities lined up, including poetry, cultural exchange programs and a documentary screening showcasing the life of the anti-apartheid icon.

“Mandela was a great icon and his name is still celebrated across the world,” said Mandela fellow, Yvonne Jila, a Zimbabwean. “So it wouldn’t be fair for us to forget the life of Mandela as tomorrow the 18th of July is Mandela Day.”

U.S. President Barack Obama started the Mandela Washington Fellowship in 2014 to honor the former South African president by training and equipping young Africans with leadership skills.

A total of 500 fellows – 30 of them Zimbabweans are currently interning with different colleges across the U.S. and in two weeks’ time they will be capping their program with a summit in Washington D.C, which will be addressed by Obama.