Great people come and go out of this world, but only a few leave behind legacies that resonate for decades. In honor of Mandela Day, The Africa Channel reflects on the life and legacy of the iconic and inspirational civil rights leader Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela affectionately referred to as “Madiba” and his timeless message of equality, representation, economic empowerment, and unity.
In the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the subsequent protests for racial justice across America and the world and the call for diversity and inclusion of Black people and People of Color, Mandela’s values and personal ideals are as relevant today as they were over five decades ago. Mandela was at the forefront of boldly pushing for the economic and societal empowerment of the marginalized, while embodying the living example of co-existence working with people of different races, religions, and social classes, towards a common goal.
This message of building bridges resonates with us at The Africa Channel. We seek to build bridges between Africa and the world by reinforcing the Continent’s positive narratives and highlighting the diverse scope of contemporary Africa from across the Continent. Through diverse content and programming, Africans and Africans in the Diaspora are seen and heard in ways that counteract monolithic and negative narratives, leading to greater understanding, more positive awareness, and greater collaborations. Our contribution to economic empowerment within our sector is to provide opportunities for Black content creators to amplify and monetize their work. In addition, by investing in developing the capabilities of the many talented African creatives on the Continent and in the diaspora, we will enable them to share more diverse stories that facilitate understanding and create deeper dialogue and connections.
Beyond the symbolism of the fight against inequality, as seen in the recent protests, solidarity marches, and hashtag campaigns, we believe that direct action needs to be taken by brands, organizations, and institutions to continue Madiba’s march towards impactful and lasting change. Organizations and global influencers need to move from advocating for social justice and equality, to direct investment and commitment to enforce diversity by ensuring bold action and creating opportunities at all levels, across all sectors.
Today more than ever, as the world reflects on Madiba’s lasting legacy, we should all be inspired to make a renewed commitment to change, and stand in solidarity with those demanding justice, equal opportunities and economic empowerment for all around the world.
Finally, as we celebrate the birthday of one of Africa’s greatest leaders, we also mourn the loss of Zindzi Mandela, another icon of positive change. She will be missed. #RIPZindziMandela
Narendra Reddy is the Executive Vice President & General Manager at The Africa Channel in Los Angeles, California. Narendra is responsible for providing strategic creative direction and executive representation for production, programming, and acquisitions for the network, including the development and production of original pilots and series domestically and in Africa.
About The Africa Channel: The Africa Channel, its production arm, TAC Studios, and its’ digital platform Demand Africa, showcase the African Continent’s most outstanding English-language television series, specials, documentaries, feature films, music, biographies, and cultural and historical content.
The channel’s mission is to open a daily window into modern African life, and in the process, help demystify Africa for viewers globally. Based in Los Angeles, The Africa Channel is available in approximately seven million homes in North America and the Caribbean on cable systems such as Comcast, Charter/Spectrum, and the Caribbean Cable Cooperative. In addition, it reaches the global African diaspora through its digital streaming service Demand Africa.