Mandela Day Celebrations

Nelson Mandela

On Saturday night I went to an amazing concert at Radio City Hall in NYC to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 91st birthday and life as well as the launch of the Mandela Day initiative. Some of the world’s top musical talent performed in a three-hour spectacle and wow! what a celebration!! Some of the artists who performed included Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys,, Wyclef Jean, Gloria Gaynor, Dave Stewart, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Queen Latifah, Josh Groban and some of my favorite African artists, the Soweto Gospel Choir, Angelique Kidjo, Baaba Maal, Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, Vusi Mahlasela and Thandiswa Mazwai.

It was one of the best and moving concerts I have seen for awhile. Wyclef was amazing, as was Baaba Maal, playing one of my favorite songs of his, African Woman. Angelique Kidjo as always was a dynamo and performed another one of my favorites, Ae Ae, with Alicia Keyes. And Jesse Clegg, the son of Johnny Clegg, one of my favorite artists growing up in South Africa, played one of his father’s classics, Asimbonanga, a tribute to Nelson Mandela and other murdered and detained prisoners during the apartheid era in South Africa.

The Mandela Day campaign encourages people to continue Nelson Mandela’s legacy by making an imprint and getting involved in their own communities – ultimately creating a better world for all. In short, Mandela Day celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world, the ability to make an imprint. In an effort to celebrate the legacy of Nelson Mandela (or Madiba as he is affectionately known in South Africa), 46664 and the Nelson Mandela Foundation are urging people all over the world to join them in a bid to create an official Mandela Day, which would be held on his birthday each year, July 18. Mandela Day will be an annual celebration of Nelson Mandela’s life and values. It is not a day to take off but rather to opt in, to join an international call to action for people to recognize their individual power to make an imprint and change the world around them.  We would be honored if such a day can serve to bring together people around the world to fight poverty and promote peace and reconciliation, according to a statement issued on Mr Mandela’s behalf.

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For Dr. Frank Lipman, health is more than just the absence of disease: it is a total state of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social wellbeing. Dr. Lipman is a widely recognized trailblazer and leader in functional and integrative medicine, and he is a New York Times best-selling author of five books, How To Be Well, The New Health Rules, 10 Reasons You Feel Old and Get Fat, Revive and Total Renewal.

After his initial medical training in his native South Africa, Dr. Lipman spent 18 months working at clinics in the bush. He became familiar with the local traditional healers, called sangomas, which kindled his interest in non-Western healing modalities.

In 1984, Dr. Lipman immigrated to the United States, where he became the chief medical resident at Lincoln Hospital in Bronx, NY. While there, he became fascinated by the hospital’s addiction clinic, which used acupuncture and Chinese medicine to treat people suffering from heroin and crack addiction. Seeing the way these patients responded so positively to acupuncture made him even more aware of the potential of implementing non- Western medicine to promote holistic wellbeing. As a medical student, he was taught to focus on the disease rather than the patient, and now as a doctor he found himself treating symptoms rather than the root causes of illness. Frustrated by the constraints of his training, and the limitations in helping his patients regain true health, he began a journey of discovery to search for the path to meaningful long-term health and wellness.

He began studying nutrition, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, herbal medicine, functional medicine, biofeedback, meditation, and yoga. Dr. Lipman founded the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in 1992, where he combines the best of Western medicine and cutting edge nutritional science with age-old healing techniques from the East. As his patient chef Seamus Mullen told The New York Times, "If antibiotics are right, he'll try it. If it's an anti-inflammatory diet, he’ll do that. He’s looking at the body as a system rather than looking at isolated things."

In addition to his practice, Dr. Lipman is the creator of Be Well, an expanding lifestyle wellness brand he founded in 2010 to help people create, sustain and lead healthier lives.