46664

46664 is an African response to the global HIV/AIDS epidemic that invites the whole world to take the fight in hand. It’s our aim to raise awareness overall and educate the younger generations in particular. By gaining global backing for the cause, we will also raise funds to directly assist the many HIV/AIDS projects we support. We intend to do this by using our international ambassadors to spread our messages of hope, our calls to action, our pleas for compassion and our requests for assistance and support for those living with HIV/AIDS.
46664 (we say four, double six, six four) was Nelson Mandela’s prison number when he was imprisoned on Robben Island, off Cape Town in South Africa. He was jailed in 1964 for 27 years for leading the liberation movement against apartheid and for his impassioned stance on the rights of everyone to live in freedom. He was prisoner number 466, imprisoned in 1964. The Robben Island prisoners were never referred to by their names, but rather by their numbers and year of imprisonment – hence 46664 was Nelson Mandela’s number.
This was very much the strategy of the apartheid regime, to reduce those people fighting for the right to freedom to nameless numbers.
It was for precisely this reason that Mr. Mandela decided to use this powerful, symbolic number in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Through this simple, poignant means he has demonstrated and communicated to the world that people must never be reduced to simple numbers – we are human beings, all equal, and those infected and living with HIV/AIDS have the same right to live and to be treated as equals.
This is how the number 46664 became the icon for promoting Nelson Mandela’s global HIV/AIDS awareness campaign.