Known for his humility and eagerness to serve society, Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor Benson Fihla was humbled and honoured to be the first South African to receive the Global Courageous and Leadership Award from the Rainbow PUSH coalition.
“When I was honoured with this special award for my role as a freedom fighter by a trendsetting coalition, founded by Reverend Jesse L Jackson, I did not just accept it on my own behalf. I received it on behalf of those who suffered and in some cases paid the highest price for the political freedom that we achieved in 1994.
“Many of the comrades who suffered greatly are from Nelson Mandela Bay as this area played a leading role in the fight against Apartheid,” Mayor Fihla said.
The Rainbow PUSH Coalition which aims to protect, defend, and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields, handed the accolade to Mayor Fihla during the 18th Annual Rainbow Push Wall Street Project Economic Summit that took place from January 13 – 15.
Mayor Fihla is the second recipient of this prestigious award.
Representatives from the coalition said the award is given to an individual with a proven record in promoting freedom / self determination and continuous service to humanity. The award is given to any global citizen regardless of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, or nationality.
Mayor Fihla said he hope that this award will serve as an inspiration for those men and women who still relentlessly work towards the economic emancipation of the marginalized and the eradication of poverty, inequality and unemployment.
The award was handed over Revered Jesse L Jackson Sr, Dr Julianne Malveaux, Pat Harris and others.
An exhibition entitled The life and times of Benson Fihla: living legend is currently on display at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum at 1 Park Drive, Central until 31 January detailing the contribution of a true humanitarian, statesman and fearless freedom fighter in our country’s struggle for liberation.
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