“I’d like to build the world a home, and furnish it with love…grow apples trees, and honey bees, and snow white turtle doves…” The New Seekers had something going when they penned these lyrics. Teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony. Hold it in our arms and keep it company. While Simbithi is passionate about community social investment (CSI) all year ‘round, days like Mandela Day give us the chance to do something a little extra special.

Former president Nelson Mandela dedicated 67 years of his life to fighting for human rights and, on 18 July, his birthday, the United Nations encourages global citizens to do 67 minutes of community work in his honour.

Mandela Day has always been a celebration of community for Simbithi, however, the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic hampered our impact during the last two years. Our team was thrilled to be able to head back out into the community, this year. Of course, our hearts immediately turned to our long-time friends at RA Padayachee Primary School, just over the Shakashead bridge.

When we first approached principal, Aleen Maharaj, she mentioned the learners’ seating area on the field needed a bit of TLC. A site visit inspired our team to take the project one (or two) colourful steps further. We decided to brighten up the school’s entrance wall with a few murals and doodles.

On a sunny Friday morning, #TeamSimbithi headed down to the school armed with tins of paint in all the colours of the rainbow, brushes and creativity at our fingertips. Staff from the Country Club and HOA were split into three 67-minute shifts and we transformed what was once a dull, crumbling wall into a veritable colouring book. It took us right back to the days of pre-school, when splotches of bright paint were smacked onto pieces of paper and then presented proudly to our parents at the end of the day!

While the ladies of #TeamSimbithi worked on painting flowers, rainbows and quotes from the great man himself, the gents got to work on the seating area, repainting it a dark grey. As a finishing touch, we asked a few learners to place their handprints on the walls, and we did, too: a sign of togetherness and our continued commitment to RAP.

All-in-all, a wonderful day out for our team and a special present for the learners of RAP, many of whom gushed about their happy new entrance when they left for the day.

Our special thanks to Miguel Santos and his team from Santos Construction, who assisted our technical and maintenance teams in repairing the learners’ seating area, constructing kerbing and preparing the wall for painting.

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