A celebration gala to mark 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela and the 25th anniversary of the first democratic elections in South Africa was held on Saturday 27thApril in the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. The event was the culmination of a unified campaign to celebrate the legacy of this South African fighter for freedom and equality. Michaela and Zdenek Bakala were one of the main partners and participants of the event.
The objective of this campaign that kicked off in the United States on 18 July 2018, that is 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela, was to highlight the global contribution of the first black president of South Africa to the struggle for equality, social justice, and to inspire support for the still topical ideas and priorities. Mandela deserves much of the credit for the introduction of free elections, he fought against poverty, was committed to the wellbeing of children, and promoted better education.
The event was organised by Mandela’s four official legacy foundations and was attended by a number of prominent personalities of the political and social life, such as former U.S. president Barack Obama with his wife, Ms. Graça Machel, Nelson Mandela's widow, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, anchor and greatest African American philanthropist Oprah Winfrey, singer Stevie Wonder, actress Whoopi Goldberg, actor Morgan Freeman, singer Bono, top model Naomi Campbell, singer Alicia Keys, reverend Jesse Jackson, and South African actor Atandwa Kani, who played Nelson Mandela in the film “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”.
As part of their philanthropic activities, Michaela and Zdenek Bakala get involved in a whole range of events in support of freedom and human rights all over the world. “Respect for freedom and human rights goes hand in hand with personal courage and social responsibility. Even today it is necessary to promote those values and to remember the legacy of those who personified them. This is why we promote the legacy of Václav Havel, who is sometimes referred to as the Nelson Mandela of Eastern Europe, and so we are proud to have supported the event commemorating the ideas and contributions of Nelson Mandela,” said Zdenek Bakala.
“Our philanthropy is symbolised by Courage, Freedom, Education. We were inspired also by Mandela’s motto that Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” added Michaela Bakala.
The event was supported by a number of leading organisations and corporations, such as Gates Foundation, Bank of America, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, American Chamber of Commerce, Morgan Stanley, etc.