President Jacob Zuma has asked the African Union to consider adopting 2018 as the year to celebrate the late South Africa president Nelson Mandela’s centenary birthday.

The Year 2018 marks the Centenary of former President of the ANC, first President of the Democratic South Africa, Nelson Mandela. This year South Africa and the entire globe is organising a range of activities to celebrate and honour the former Statesman.

Zuma made the request as he hosted dinner in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Saturday night, to mark Madiba’s centenary celebrations.

Zuma explained the importance of Madiba’s legacy when he addressed those who attended the celebrations.

“Madiba is a global icon, but he will always be rooted in Africa. We must thank the AU and its member states for keeping Mandela’s legacy alive through a myriad of symbols and tributes.”

The former President Nelson Mandela passed away on 5 December 2013 and on 18 July 2018 he would have turned 100 years.

President Zuma says Mandela Centenary is a perfect opportunity to share ideas on how to positively change the prevailing human condition in Africa and beyond.

“Nelson Mandela viewed life through a prism of hope as he negotiated the trials and tribulations of his life to ultimately become a colossus of our day. His life story is a classic example of the triumph of the human spirit.”

He reminds the audience that Mandela was an ordinary human being who elected to do extraordinary things with his life.

“Madiba is global icon and revered worldwide as a Champion of Human Rights, non-racism and non-sexism who played a critical role in unifying South Africans and inspiring democratic unity across Africa and the globe.”

A year-long programme featuring different events will be taking place in South Africa, Africa and the world – all in honour of the legacy of the great son of the soil. The theme for the Centenary is “Be the Legacy”.