The Pikkieland Crèche and Pre-Primary School in Zonnebloem celebrated Nelson Mandela’s birthday on Monday July 18, playing games for the better part of the Mandela Day celebrations.
Some of the pre-schoolers shared what they knew about South Africa’s first black president and Grade R teacher, Chandré Brukman, said they recognised Nelson Mandela as the man on the money.
“We have taught them about Mandela Day and most of them do recognise who he is because of the rands. They know why we are celebrating today,” Ms Brukman said.
“It’s his birthday today, but I know he died,” said Alexandra Engelbrecht, 6.
“I see him at my daddy’s work and on money,” said Angelo Mdena, 5, referring to a building in the city where the giant murals of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu can be seen.
“It’s Monday, it’s Mandela’s birthday, we got our faces painted and we having fun,” said Vanessa Marambwa, 5.
“We are having fun because it’s Mandela’s day. Mandela loved us and everyone else,” said Inam Dyasha, 4.
Mariaan Pretorius, the principal at Pikkieland Crèche and Pre-Primary School, said they taught the children about the various symbols of South Africa.
“We have taught them about the flag, about Nelson Mandela, the national anthem and about the emblems that represent South Africa,” said Ms Pretorius.
“Today they are having more fun than usual as we have volunteers from Sportsman’s Warehouse and a school from Italy joining us, they giving us 67 minutes of their time today,” she added.
Mary Pagano, an English teacher from Liceo d’Europa e d’Arconate, said they were on a programme to learn more about South Africa.
“We have 15 students here from our high school to volunteer at Pikkieland. They are learning about this city, the people, the food, so it’s a pleasure to be here on Mandela day,” said Ms Pagano.