SAA celebrates Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday with vote for greatest icon

11th Jun 2008

South African Airways is celebrating the 90th birthday of Nelson Mandela by launching the SAA Icons 2008 list. The South African national carrier is inviting the public to vote for their favourite 90 icons from the last 90 years - heroes and inspirational humans, who have demonstrated and share many of Mandela’s characteristics - dignity, courage, humanity, humility, persistence, forgiveness, kindness, and more.The SAA Icon list honours the birthday of the inspirational “Madiba” (as Mandela is affectionately known), whilst also introducing entrants to people of similar vision, and also lets them choose their own list.

The campaign features icons from a range of disciplines including medicine, science, arts, politics, religion, music, sports and more. At present Mother Teresa tops the humanitarian board with 38% of the votes cast so far, and Muhammad Ali is the top sportsperson with 28%. John Lennon leads the art category with 25%, whilst Winston Churchill and Ghandi are joint leaders in the politics category with 28% each.

To mark the occasion and promote the SAA Icons 2008, South African Airways is giving away 90 return flights to the birthplace of the great Nelson Mandela, South Africa.

Marcus McKenzie, Regional Manager of UK and Ireland, said: “We celebrate this iconic statesman of our country - Nelson Mandela - on his 90th Birthday. We are pleased to give away 90 tickets to 90 people so they too can enjoy the warmth and diversity of our vibrant country starting with our uniquely ‘South African hospitality’ as they step on board from London.

“As the recognised national carrier, we acknowledge that Nelson Mandela has put South Africa on the ‘global map’ for all the right reasons. We admire his constant endeavours to uplift and better society, and he continues to greatly influence & inspire our corporate ethos, to makes us feel proudly South African.”


To have your say and wish Mr Mandela an honoured happy birthday, vote or enter the competition at



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