Today we hosted the fourth annual Giant of Africa event marking the anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s passing. In celebration of the life of the late South African president and Nobel Peace Prize winner we invited special guests to share their journey to unify the world through sport and humanity, as well as host a special camp at the MLSE Launchpad. The day ended with a successful Raptors game and reception at Air Canada Centre.
The morning incorporated culture and design that channeled and celebrated the vibrant culture of Africa. The event was hosted by none other than Toronto talk show host and local celebrity George Stroumboulopoulos. A series of performances and stories were shared by Masai himself and his special guests, including Dikembe Mutombo and Vivian Onan. To begin the celebration, close friend of Mandela and African pop star, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, performed “Amazing Man,” a musical tribute to her late-friend. Afterward, our panelists took to the stage to share their unique experiences and friendships with Mandela himself, showing how he changed their lives and the lives of those around them. The discussion finished off with an energized and inspirational speech from Masai and GOA members, where we highlighted the areas we look to conquer in the coming years.
Directly after the breakfast reception, the GOA team made their way to MLSE Launchpad to host a mini-camp for 50 kids aged 10-12 years old, from the Nelson Mandela Park Public School. The kids were outfitted with brand new shoes donated by Nike and gear for the camp. The camp was intended to serve as a “mock” GOA Camp that we traditionally run every August throughout Africa. The kids were put through different stations that focused on the 5 key pillars of Mandela including: Sports, Leadership, Community, Freedom and Future. Each taught them a key life lesson that Mandela stood for. Adding excitement to the mix was the support and participation from NBA legend Dikembe Mutombo, Raptors Alumnus Muggsy Bogues, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Vivian Onano and other GOA supporters.
After an eventful day, the GOA team and friends spent the evening celebrating at the Toronto Raptors game, followed by a special reception held at Draught Deck at Air Canada Centre.