Tag Archive: mandela day



An empty wall, except for the occasional message graffiti tag that has drawn attention away from the desperate need for a paint job.

Mandela Day and the creation of opportunities under the 67 minutes banner for the general public to get involved in goodness.

A creative sister-in-law with a vision, a plan and template presenting the basic idea of blocked design she was going for.



A raggedy bunch of volunteers from churches, Improv groups, Facebook friends, children and even strangers and neighbours who happened to walk past and see what was happening and decided to get involved.

wall9This is how a group of us chose to spend out Mandela Day. A little overspent on the 67 minutes [which means we get to take it easier next year?] as most of us were there for the entire morning but jumping in on the opportunity to be a part of painting the outside wall of the uThando leNkosi Place of Safety for children that tbV and i have been involved with since it began many years ago.

In some ways i’m not the biggest fan of the idea of Mandela Day which i wrote a bit about on a 1Africa post over here, with my hesitation being more on the side of needing a day as a reason for us to do good as opposed to just being more doing-good-naturally people. But at the same time, sometimes it can be fun to have ‘an excuse’ to get a bunch of mates together to do a project in the community that is going to help out such a good cause.

It was personally so meaningful for me that some of the members of my Improv team, Improguise, showed up [with family in tow] with carloads of resources and much enthusiasm to get the crowd going and create some of the most stunning designs and we are looking forward to Monday’s Improv show [which you should totally come and watch] as we will be donating the proceeds to uThando leNkosi as well. So we’re really hoping that will be a sold out show so that we can continue the good we were able to get involved in on Saturday.


All in all it was just a fun and vibey day and while there were definitely differing levels of skill and expertise i was pretty happy with my punching-above-the-belt-creations that i managed to produce:


First block pic taken while i was still busy on it: work in progress and second of course had to have my tag snuck in

As long as i didn’t take them in at the same moment as being reminded of the real pros at work:



And of course a behind-the-scenes typical pose for my dad who grabbed a job no-one else wanted to do and quietly went about it:


Excellent day. So easy really. Big thanks to everyone who came out to help and especially those who just saw what was happening and got involved [slightly less thanks to the one lady who grabbed some of our paint when no-one was looking and walked down the road and around the corner and painted ’67 minutes of service for Madeba Day’ [yes, spelling] on someone else’s outside wall]


Did you get up to anything for Mandela Day? i would love to hear the stories and i would love to see you and a bunch of friends or family coming and supporting us on Monday night so that we can sell out our Improv show and give another gift to this house that is doing some great stuff. 


bare feet church

i was busy painting my block for the uThando leNkosi wall painting project as part of our 67 minutes and a bit for Mandela Day yesterday when things got a little interesting.

A lady i had just met, assuming i guess, that we were a bunch of christians helping out with this project, decided to break some ice, by turning to those closest to her and asking, ‘What church do you go to?’

My friend Megan, one of my fellow improvisers, who had jumped at the chance to get involved, proudly exclaimed, “i am an enthusiastic atheist!” or something to that effect.

Not wanting to appear completely thrown by that little speed bump, my fellow painter declared, “Well that sounds like fun.” Again, my day-after-the-effect paraphrase. Painting resumed.



A while later Megan had moved on to another part of the wall and my new friend decided to try again and so i started to explain the most recent dynamic of visiting a bunch of churches since returning to Cape Town as opposed to particularly committing to any one. The conversation moved to the fact that she had Catholic roots and what did i feel about the Catholic church? i explained that i believe that the rest of the church has a lot to learn from the Catholic church in terms of holiness and respect and awe for God with the tendency of more modern day churches to adopt more of a Jesus-is-my-buddy approach.

She seemed to resonate with this and said that the one thing she couldn’t stand about a lot of the other churches she had visited was the lack of respect. “I really can’t stand it when people don’t wear shoes for example.”

“I was a pastor for six years in a Vineyard church and i never wore shoes,” i quickly and gently responded.

By way of back-peddling, i guess, she said something about the need for honouring the space and the occasion, like for example, weddings.

“I have conducted three weddings and did each of them barefoot,” i responded.

i went on to explain how i did it intentionally, using the story of Moses and the burning bush and the idea of taking off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. The picture of a marriage being something that God sees as holy ground, despite how the world has typically done what it can to reduce the idea to something more me-focused and consumerist.

i can’t remember what happened next, but i don’t remember continuing that conversation and so she very well might have found another part of the wall that needed urgent attention.

barefoot in church


For those of us who are part of the church, i believe it is so important to regularly take a step back and look at the things we do [and possibly also the things we like and appreciate about what we do]

Are there things we do which are simply tradition, done because everyone always did them since that time the first person did them, but not necessarily biblical or Godly things? And should we perhaps stop doing some of those?

Are there things we don’t do that might be things that are really good to do according to God and the bible and the history of the church?

Are there some that maybe fall kinda in the middle – fun and good things to do but not particularly called for by God or the Bible and we are free to make a choice as to whether we want to keep doing them or not?

Do we question? Do we critique? Do we regularly test the things we do? What affect might they have on outsiders, on visitors? Do we take time to explain some of the weird stuff and traditions when people are visiting?

Does what happens on a Sunday [if that is when we meet together as church] strengthen, encourage, equip and empower us for the work of being the church for the rest of the week as we work, as we family, as we sport and as we relationship?

If so, let’s keep on with it… happy churching!

%d bloggers like this: