The Nelson Mandela CEO SleepOut™ Event was held on Wednesday 11 July 2018, a date that marked the 55th anniversary of the capture of six of the 10 Rivonia Treason Trialists.
The Event saw an intimate group of CEOs gathering with a number of special guests, including a media contingency, at Liliesleaf Farm and Museum in Rivonia, Johannesburg.
This Liliesleaf Edition formed part of The 2018 SleepOut™ Movement series, which honoured the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birthday.
The participating CEOs included Chris Griffith, CEO of Anglo Platinum.
Speaking at the Event, Griffith said; “It is an important thing for us South Africans to connect with those less fortunate. This Event is a great opportunity for us to think about the impact we can make.”
Additional notable Participants at this year’s event included Nicola Gubb of WDB Investment Holdings; Dante Mashile of Adcock Ingram; Sifisile Ngwenya of AEL Mining; Tollo Nkosi of UMSO Construction; Hugo Basson of Chemserve; Costa Diavastos of Bidvest PC, Nicole Solomon of AECI and Sung Yoon of Samsung.
Each of these benevolent CEOs was accompanied by four distinguished guests whom they believed embodied Madiba’s leadership and humanitarian qualities.
Together, the Participant #RoseToTheChallenge by spending a winter’s night outdoors in support of The CEO SleepOut™ Trust’s Primary Beneficiaries: Liliesleaf Farm and Museum and The Qunu Food Security Project.
Borne from a desire to re-think, re-invent and re-energise the way we look at philanthropy, The SleepOut™ Movement is professionally and purposely driven by the social enterprise The Philanthropic Collection™ (Pty), whose passion is to bridge the gap between ‘us’ and ‘them’ towards a united ‘we’.
The SleepOut™ Movement brings together businesses and influencers to purposely address the key pillars that alleviate homelessness: Shelter, Nutrition, Healthcare, Education, and Community.
Special guests at The Nelson Mandela CEO SleepOut™ Liliesleaf Edition included Dr. Makaziwe Mandela, Nelson Mandela’s eldest daughter and a patron of The 2018 CEO SleepOut™ Movement; Adam Craker CEO of IQbusiness; and Mbogeni Sibanda, Deputy Head Boy from Redhill High School, who represented The Schools SleepOut™ brand.
Representatives from the 2018 Primary Beneficiaries included Dr. Brylyne Chitsunge, Pan African Ambassador for Food Security, who represented The Qunu Food Security Project and Sir Nicolas Wolpe from Liliesleaf Farm and Museum.
In her speech, Dr. Makaziwe Mandela said;
“Liliesleaf Farm and Museum is a great symbolic presence of where we came from, of who we are as a people, and of what we can achieve in the future that is greater than we are!”
Adam Craker, CEO of IQbusiness, said;
“The SleepOut™ Movement has started a whole new social narrative engaging business, labour, government and civil society in a conversation of how we develop our nation. The benefit we have found goes way beyond the donations, it’s more difficult to measure the intrinsic value.”
Liliesleaf Farm and Museum was once the nerve centre of the liberation movement and a place of refuge for its leaders. Today, it stands proud as one of South Africa’s foremost award-winning heritage sites, where the journey to democracy in South Africa is honoured.
Since opening to the public in June 2008, Liliesleaf Farm and Museum has attracted thousands of local and international visitors who are eager to understand and engage with a pivotal period in South Africa’s liberation struggle.
At the Event, Sir Nicolas Wolpe, CEO of Liliesleaf Trust, commented that Liliesleaf Farm and Museum was honoured to be both the chosen venue for The CEO SleepOut™, and one of the Primary Beneficiaries of The SleepOut™ Movement. “[This enables] us to continue our work in preserving our heritage as an important symbolic presence of our country’s struggle,” he said. “Through our educational programmes, we continue to inspire younger audiences to face the challenges of today.”
As the CEOs and their guests arrived at 18:00 to spend a night under the stars, they were provided with meager provisions and encouraged to find a place to set up for the night.
They were then taken on a guided tour of Liliesleaf where Nelson Mandela held meetings for Operation Mayibuye. IQbusiness provided guests with the opportunity to walk in Madiba’s footsteps through a virtual reality experience. The official welcome proceedings and speeches commenced at 20:00 and were followed by poignant ‘fire side discussions’.
The CEOs and their guests were then treated to an exclusive outdoor premiere of An Act of Defiance: The Bram Fischer Story. The film tells the story of a man who did not become legendary like his client, Nelson Mandela, but who was one of the key people in the fight for South Africa’s democracy in the fifties and sixties. Silent headphones were provided to each guest to enhance the solemnity of the experience.
No sooner had the movie ended than the guests were enthralled by a flash mob from the Tshwane Gospel Choir who entertained them with songs including ‘Happy Birthday Madiba’, lifting the mood of the event to one of celebration.
At the break of dawn after a cold and uncomfortable winter’s night, the CEO’s and their guest worked together to tidy up and donated all that they had brought to those most in need.
“After a sleepless, freezing night on the grass at Liliesleaf, I will not look at homeless people the same way. But I also understand why so many CEOs took the easy way out this year,” said Participant and Media Partner Alec Hogg, Founder, BizNews.com.
In addition to the Primary Beneficiaries, The SleepOut™ Movement benefits a number of Secondary as well as Satellite Beneficiaries.
Gift of the Givers continues to provide their invaluable support to the Event by re-cycling all elements from the Event, including those items brought by Participants, which they then distribute to those most in need.
Curated by the social enterprise The Philanthropic Collection, whose mission is creating ‘Conscious With Capital’, The SleepOut™ Movement aims to spearhead philanthropic innovation employing business strategies to do good for others.
In July 2018, learners from schools across the country spent a night outdoors on their school grounds, learning lessons in empathy and collecting items for those less fortunate. 57 schools from across South Africa participated, giving those learners the opportunity to be ‘Superheroes for Madiba’.
On what would have been Madiba’s 100th birthday, scholars learnt the meaning of true philanthropy and that each person possesses the ability to change the lives of people in vulnerable communities.
The registration process provided each participating resourced school with the opportunity to select an under-resourced school so that they too could host and experience their own School SleepOut™ Event.
Fourways High School exceeded all expectations with 382 participants in their School SleepOut™ Event in 2018.
Learners proudly lived up to the legacy of Nelson Mandela by facilitating the biggest School SleepOut™ so far in South Africa.
The Tomorrow Trust, which educates orphaned and vulnerable children, was also selected to participate in the 2018 School SleepOut™.
This participation allowed them a forge a valuable partnership with the Harvard Crossroads Emerging Leaders Programme, which culminated in the election of one of The Tomorrow Trust’s students for the programme.
The Tomorrow Trust expressed their sincere gratitude to The SleepOut™ Trust, saying that the movement allowed them to “carry out [their] work and ensure that [their] students receive an education that will allow them to be self-sustaining individuals who become active members of [their] society and economy.”
From its debut in 2015, The SleepOut™ Movement has grown significantly and The School SleepOut™ is proof that the youth of South Africa are committed to changing the lives of our homeless and vulnerable children.
The leaders of tomorrow heeded the call ‘To Rise To The Challenge’ whilst displaying a profound yearning to create a world that works for everyone.