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Wednesday, December 2, 2020
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100 minutes of Coding for Mandela

Emmanuel Tjiya

A crop of Mzansi A-listers yesterday paid a visit to Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg, with a random act of kindness, proving in Mandela Day that they are much more than their oversized bank balances.

Basetsana Kumalo, Carol Bouwer, Khanya Mkangisa, Celeste Ntuli, Thembi Nyandeni and Bujy Bikwa surprised school children in the middle of their computer programming class at Diepsloot Skills Centre.

Hosted by the Do Good Circle in collaboration with the Gauteng department of social development and the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the theme for the Mandela Day activity was “100 minutes of Coding for Mandela”.

The aim was to introduce schools to the futuristic world of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) – coding, robotics and gaming. This follows a call by the department of education earlier this year for SA schools to prioritise coding.

Before celebrities gave inspirational words of encouragement to the pupils,
Kumalo opened the function with a powerful prayer that sent vibrations through the class.

“I think there was an important message when President [Cyril] Ramaphosa said Thuma Mina earlier this year, it did not only apply to him but it was also a message that applied to us,” Bouwer said.

“What am I doing as a South African that says I can build this nation? South Africa is becoming a more empathetic nation and we should all be grateful for. It was something that was ploughed when Madiba took to the Union Buildings.”

American comedian Chris Rock’s ex-wife Malaak Compton-Rock later made an appearance with her two children.

They have been in the country since Sunday. Last night, through her charity organisation The Angel Rock Project that has educational and micro-finance programmes in Diepsloot and Soweto, Compton-Rock took 150 girls for a night of festivities at Lesedi Cultural Village, about 50km northwest of Johannesburg, .

“I’m here to serve Nelson Mandela’s honour and his desire for all of us to serve humanity – not just today but everyday,” she said.

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