Tokyo, July 19, 2023 – The South African Embassy in Tokyo, in collaboration with Machida City, came together to commemorate Nelson Mandela International Day in a touching ceremony. Led by Ambassador and Mrs. Ngonyama, along with the Mayor of Machida City and Embassy staff, the event took place at Dahlia Park, where approximately 40 volunteers, including members from the adjacent Disability Centre, joined in the day’s activities.
The heartwarming occasion began with a joint effort to clean up Dahlia Park, symbolizing the spirit of community and unity that Nelson Mandela’s legacy represents. Ambassador Ngonyama delivered a heartfelt message, paying tribute to the values Madiba stood for, inspiring everyone present to follow in his footsteps of compassion and kindness.
During the event, a special moment arose when Ambassador Ngonyama was requested to name a newly discovered dahlia species. In a beautiful gesture, he bestowed the name “Nzwakazi,” meaning “beauty” in Xhosa, dedicated to the beauty of women – mothers and daughters – and the profound impact they have on the world.
In an uplifting display of unity, Ambassador Ngonyama, Mrs. Ngonyama, and the Embassy staff visited the Disability Centre to engage with its residents and staff, fostering connections and spreading goodwill.
Later, they joined learners from Hon-Machida Elementary School for an enriching session about the life and contributions of the late Madiba, shedding light on South Africa’s diverse culture, and answering the students’ curious and insightful questions. The gathering concluded with a delightful lunch thoughtfully prepared by the school.