Two lucky pupils add personal messages to House of Commons Tribute book to the late Nelson Mandela
Lambeth Academy has become the only school in the world to publicly sign the global Tribute book to the late Nelson Mandela, as part of their Black History Month celebrations.
Students and staff at Lambeth Academy were delighted to welcome Nic Careem, Director of Blue Sky Africa Club, who founded the Tribute book, on Friday. Students were able to see first-hand the personal messages left in the book by some of the most prominent people in the world, including US President Barack Obama, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, three British prime ministers and a host of international business and community leaders.
Joining their number were two lucky students, Shyan-Lee Hunte and Najib Chowdhury, who, along with Lambeth Academy Executive Principal Jan Shadick, were given the unique opportunity to add their own handwritten messages to the book on the same page as President Obama. At 12 years old, this makes Najib is the youngest signatory of the book so far.
To date the book has nearly 700 handwritten messages and will be edited by Janis Kearney, former White House Diarist to President Bill Clinton. The book will be printed in China and will go on sale globally in 2016, with the sales proceeds in each country put towards fighting child poverty. The book will be a major tool to help continue Nelson Mandela’s mission to end child poverty and racial intolerance.
Students have been so inspired by the Tribute that they are creating a mural featuring all the book’s messages, which will be displayed at the House of Commons in February 2016 to celebrate the publication and sale of the book.
Jan Shadick, Executive Principal of Lambeth Academy, said:
“I am proud to have facilitated a truly historical and epic experience at Lambeth Academy. Nelson Mandela’s legacy will continue to shine and we are proud to be a small part of the journey.”
Year 13 student Shyan-Lee Hunte said:
“I was honoured and overwhelmed to be part of such a historic moment. Growing up, Mandela was a symbol to me of strength and liberation. Being able to have my work featured in the up and coming book is so exciting, as I often write poetry in my spare time, and my work has gone alongside some very famous people of our time.”
Year 8 student Najib Chowdhury said:
“The entire experience was mesmerising; a once in a lifetime opportunity.”