Blogger Eric Shikobela regularly sends us inspiring posts about South Africa and the people who’ve made a difference – whether for women’s rights, unity, love, peace or tolerance.

Here’s his latest message to South Africans for #MandelaDay

Many years ago in Transkei in a small village of Mvezo in Qunu, something strange happened. This was not only strange but it shook the whole village.

A woman named Nosekeni woke early in the morning to find a giant footprint in her yard. She was shocked to see such a footprint: it was so great that it even made a big hole where it had stepped. She screamed in fear calling to her husband Mphakanyiswa to come and see this wonder.

She was so loud that even neighbours came running wondering what was wrong. Everyone was shocked to see this great footprint. The news of a giant footprint in the Mandela home spread as fast as lightening. The whole village of Mvezo, the neighbouring villages, the provinces, the nation, Africa and the whole world gathered to see this great footprint – a wonder indeed.

Everyone was astonished by this great sight and everyone had more questions than answers. Who does it belong to? How great is that person? And why a single footprint?

In life every question has an answer, and every problem a solution. But none of these happen in our own time, but at the best time.

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It’s now 100 years later since the footprint was found in Mvezo village. And every question is answered, It was the footprint of Nelson Mandela. The whole world knows today that it was his because the exact date when it was found was the 18 July 1918.

Who could have thought that a small village could give birth to a world icon? Someone whose footprint changed our nation for the better and touched the whole world.

Nelson Mandela has left a great footprint in this life: a print of forgiveness, hope for a better South Africa, and love for fellow human beings

He took a long walk to free us from the oppressors and he emphasised several times that his footprint couldn’t have been so great if fellow comrades didn’t work collectively. It was a footprint of giants, visionaries and fighters. They all knew that leadership is not a career, but a calling that comes with great responsibilities. Their footprint has influenced a positive change in our nation. A footprint that we as South Africans can choose to step on and follow.

As South Africans, we have a responsibility to make a difference in life, in our nation as a whole

We should learn from Mandela, that great things start small and simple, yet they come from a genuine heart full of passion and hope for a better future. We should implement change from our homes to our communities, to make the world a better place. We all have something to offer, even your words of encouragement can help someone.

Indeed nothing is impossible when the heart is willing. I quote Mandela: “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” I believe he never thought his footprint would be so great, he was just trying to make a difference, and he ended up touching and changing the world.

Let us all unite to make a positive footprint this Mandela Day

Let us touch and change lives, one at a time, and tomorrow the world will be a better place for all. Let us build a nation the next generation will thank us for, a future full of light and hope. A future we will all be proud of. Our little footprints combined can be a great footprint that will match the footprint of our late President. Remember that footprints come in pairs, and we need to do our part and put our footprint next to the one in Mvezo, then the mission will be complete.

South Africa my motherland can do better. I quote Mahatma Gandhi; “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”