AFI Fastrack 2020 Finalists share what Mandela Day means

Fastrack2020

Earlier this year AFI announced the 2020 top six contestants who will be joining its development programme, Fastrack.

Keneoue Mhletswa, Siyabonga Mtshali, Anita Makgetla, Cheron Dreyer, Eleazer Radebe and Shamyra Moodley have been elected as the top six young designers to join the year-long programme which will see them receiving six months mentorship in South Africa’s top fashion design houses and an opportunity to showcase their first collections at AFI Fashion Week.

As we commemorate Nelson Mandela, we are reminded of his selfless contribution to the nation.  Mandela Day constantly remind us to be of service to one another. Fastrack finalists shared their views on what Mandela Day means to them:


Anita Makgetla

Has anyone ever extended a helping hand in your time of need?

Many a time. I have been fortunate that I haven’t been in dire need of support, but even those small tokens of help bring us closer together and make whatever you’re going through feel less daunting and insurmountable.

What do you think Mandela Day means and what do you hope it achieves?

I think a lot of people use Mandela Day as a way to tick a box for social responsibility. But I think it is meant to be a catalyst that inspires us to be socially conscious everyday. Mandela and his peers looked at the problems our society faced, developed solutions and made the types of sacrifices most of us would shy away from. But the reality is that if we want to continue Mandela’s legacy, we have to be willing to do a whole lot more for the greater good than 67mins.


Keneoue Mhletswa

What is the most charitable act you have ever done?

The most charitable act I could remember was helping at the orphanage home in Orange Farm,south of Johannesburg, whereby I have donated clothes to the kids. I also volunteered my time to do laundry and cook for the children at the orphanage home.

Has anyone ever extended a helping hand in your time of need?

Yes, I was giving a sewing machine because I couldn’t afford to buy one.

What do you think Mandela Day means and what do you hope it achieves?

To me I think Mandela day means having the power and the ability to make an impact in someone else’s life and volunteering in community services.

How will you be spending your 67 Minutes this Mandela day?

I’ll be spending 67 min giving away masks at an old age home.


Cheron Dreyer

What do you think Mandela Day means and what do you hope it achieves?

To me, Mandela day is a day where we can all come together to help and serve each other. By participating in Mandela day, we can build stronger connections with each other and help each other grow and flourish. I believe we should live in service of our fellow people every day. Everyday there’s something kind we can do for someone. Even if it’s small.

How will you be spending your 67 Minutes this Mandela day?

This Mandela day I’ll be making soup and sharing it with the local homeless in my area. I’ll also make a few neck warmers and hand it out to them.


Eleazer Radebe

What is the most charitable act you have ever done?

This is hard to talk about because I was not doing it for anyone to ever know. I once helped out someone who had been side-tracked by life and became homeless. I put him up for a couple of months to get him back on his feet and assist him find work and his own place, which he did.

Has anyone ever extended a helping hand in your time of need?

When my parents could not accept me for being gay and put me out of the house, I survived through God’s grace and friends. My friends took me in all the way from Durban to Johannesburg. I lived with them for a year trying to find my feet. They supported me with shelter, food and emotionally without expecting anything in return.

What do you think Mandela Day means and what do you hope it achieves?

The day for me represents HOPE. The world has become such a tumultuous place to live in. We are constantly surrounded by perpetual violence (namely GBV), divisive inequality and dire poverty. Although it should be a lifestyle, this day reminds us that we should care about and for each other. We should show and give mercy and grace because as we all suffer, there’s much to be grateful for. It is a day we remind each other that we matter no matter where we may be currently, things will change for the better. And we should be making efforts towards that light.


Shamyra Moodley

What is the most charitable act you have ever done?

During my gap year I travelled to Europe and ended up in Ireland where I volunteered my time at a Cancer Foundation. One of the projects I was involved with was called “Feel Good, Look Better” it was aimed at helping women to deal with the negative side effects of chemotherapy. I was involved in teaching the cancer survivors how to put on wigs and make-up. It was completely out of my comfort zone but seeing them dress up, finding beauty after their trauma was such an amazing experience.

What do you think Mandela Day means and what do you hope it achieves?

I love that it is a global call to action. It gives you that pause to sit down and think on how you can positively impact the environment around you.

How will you be spending your 67 Minutes this Mandela day?

My family and I will be doing two things to show our support. We have been doing masks which we will share with the Claremont Can Initiative and we’ve decided to also bake cakes and take them to our local hospital to say thank you to the essential workers.​