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PODCAST | Nandi Madida: We can all be global citizens, it starts with something small

04 December 2019 - 07:00 By Kyle Zeeman
Nandi Madida has opened up about her experience as a Global Citizen advocate.
Nandi Madida has opened up about her experience as a Global Citizen advocate.
Image: Noam Galai/Getty Images for Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100

TV personality, singer and actress Nandi Madida remembers visiting her grandmother as a child and seeing people in the neighbourhood using pit toilets. It was world's apart for a young Nandi, who had all the benefits of a suburban life, but it also stirred a feeling of wanting to make a change.

The star has teamed up with Global Citizen as an advocate for the outreach organisation, and sat down with TshisaLIVE recently to speak about her experiences.


As a mom of two, Nandi said causes in aid of child sanitation, hygiene and nutrition were closest to her heart.

“I understand South Africa. Too many people are so disconnected. When I was with my gran, you would walk forever to use the loo and it didn't smell that nice. In that community, it is a way of life. That has always been my edge, understanding our issues holistically. So many people are so disconnected and don't really know what is going on in the country and what people really want. That is why it was important for me to be a Global Citizen advocate.”

She said she was inspired by parents who always served.

“I came from a family that knew how to serve people. Serving others was paramount to us, having traveled a lot to rural parts of KwaZulu-Natal and seeing those issues.”

Nandi said she had lost family members to HIV/Aids at a time when medicine was not available.

“So many people died. So many people were orphaned. That was dear to my heart. I knew  I had to do something about it. I have always, in my little corner, made my changes.”

She said many people thought making a change would mean them doing something drastic, when it really starts with just a desire to make a difference.

“What you can do is go on your phone and open the Global Citizen website. There is plenty that we need to do.”

Hugh Evans, chief executive founder of the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 festival,  told SAFM this week that 16 governments, eight international institutions and foundations and 12 corporates pledged roughly $7.2-billion (more than R104bn) to assist development on the continent and in SA last year.

“A vast majority of those commitments are on track, over 83% on track, and more than R12bn has been delivered across South Africa over the last 12 months.”

Hugh said this money has been used to help solve social, health and hygiene issues.