Most of us will remember South Africa's first Democratic Elections in April 1994 for the rest of our lives. I was 20 years old at the time, and like so many other South Africans, it was the first time I had voted. In my case, however, casting my vote for the very first time in 1994 was because of my age rather than because of my race, unlike so many other South Africans who celebrated democracy and tasted freedom for the first time that day. We will forever remember those iconic images of citizens queuing up in long, snaking lines to vote Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress into power. It was an extraordinary moment - bursting with pride, patriotism and hope - as, regardless of who we were voting for, we shared stories with strangers in the voting queues and for the first time in history, felt like a united nation.
It was Nelson Mandela, who captured the hearts of our Nation and the World that day, as he too voted for the first time and made his historic inauguration speech in May 1994 - coining phrases that many of us will always strive to live our lives by.
South Africa's beloved Madiba was most known for his love of children. His infectious smile and laugh made our children love him as much as he adored them. He was always a strong supporter of children and their education and I know that I am eternally grateful that my own children were born in a generation that at least got to know and love Madiba, even if only for a short time: they knew him, mourned his passing and will forever remember him as the Father of our Nation.
In celebration of 20 years of democracy and to honour Madiba's legacy and love of children, Macaroon was inspired to focus on children and has extended our range of proudly South African stationery to include a touch of Madiba Magic! We absolutely adore our Mini Macaroon Mates - Max, Molly, Finn & Phoebe - the children of our Rainbow Nation. They were hand illustrated exclusively for Macaroon and are now available in a fun range of stationery and accessories.
Our new "Rainbow Nation" personalised journal is proudly patriotic, featuring our exclusive Macaroon Mates with the South African flag & a touch of Madiba Magic, with one of his most well-loved quotes - it makes a proudly South African pressie for children overseas or at home. These journals, or the matching art books, are the perfect place for our children to sketch or journal their South African adventures and dreams.
Our enchanting Macaroon Mates are now also available in bright gift tag sets, with matching vinyl sticker sets, for proudly patriotic pressies! This is by far my favourite new way to wrap pressies for kids.
Given our love of art, and of South Africa, one of our all-time favourite products is our personalised Doodle Pad - a hand-illustrated colouring-in book featuring Madiba, the SA flag, Cape Town, Durban, Jozi and other typically South African images. It is such a great way to teach your kids to love South Africa and all it has to offer.
So, while today is most about showing your support for your political party of choice, it is also the perfect day to pause and to remember Tata Madiba and his magic. His infectious smile and his love of children - and the bright happy colours of our Rainbow Nation. Remember with pride that feeling of 1994 and the associated patriotism - and carry it with you in your daily life as we celebrate being South African and raising proudly South African children.
Whichever party you are voting for today, remember that wars have been fought and lives have been lost for the right to cast a vote - so get to the polls, make your vote count and make a difference. Let's celebrate Madiba's legacy - a legacy that he left for our children - and remember the type of South Africa that he dreamt of - remembering that our votes today decide on the type of Nation our children will grow up in. So, be the change we want to see in this beautiful country.
"Let freedom reign. The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement. God bless Africa. Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika" Nelson Mandela, May 1994