On Dec. 4 and Dec. 5, Masai Ujiri's Giants of Africa organization and the Nelson Mandela Foundation are hosting "Mandela 100", a two-day celebration honouring the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela.
Mandela, who passed away at the age of 95 on Dec. 5, 2013, would have turned 100 in 2018; "Mandela 100" is a celebration of his Centenary.
At 6:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Dec. 4, a tribute gala consisting of celebrations and discussions honouring Mandela's lasting impact will be held at Rebel in Toronto. The event will also feature special performances and celebrity guests, including recording artist Jidenna, who spent some of his childhood growing up in Nigeria.
The celebration continues on Wednesday, Dec. 5 when the Raptors host the Philadelphia 76ers. Mandela will be honoured throughout a game in which Joel Embiid (Cameroon), Serge Ibaka (Republic of the Congo) and Pascal Siakam (Cameroon) will suit up.
Ujiri, a native of Nigeria, founded the Giants of Africa organization in 2003 with a mission to "use basketball as a means to educate and enrich the lives of African youth." Like many, the Raptors' president has drawn inspiration from Mandela, crediting the former South African President with giving hope to an entire continent:
"This was somebody that was in jail for 27 years and affected so many lives. He was the father of Africa, he was our hope and he brought us together because he rose above all odds in life to become the most positive person and the most positive movement in the world."
The 2013 NBA Executive of the Year continued, sharing that Mandela "affected the world and affected the youth of Africa in a positive way." Ujiri referred to Mandela as the Giant of Africa.
Mandela's legacy will continue to live on through the millions of lives he has impacted.