Clerkenwell pub the Sekforde Arms to hold fundraiser in Mandela’s memory for scholarships in South Africa

The Sekforde Arms Pub. Picture: Peter Landers

The Sekforde Arms Pub. Picture: Peter Landers - Credit: Archant

A philanthropic pub owner is donating all proceeds raised at his venue in Clerkenwell this week to support kids through university in South Africa.

Barrister and publican David Lonsdale is giving away all the cash from the tills at his Sekforde Arms pub to set up a scholarship for bright students in South Africa.

The Sekforde Street boozer will hold a party tonight in memory of Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday.

“I’m doing this because I admire Nelson Mandela and he is a person who should be remembered,” said David. “It is quite rare in history to find one person who made so much difference to a country.

“It’s amazing how South Africa was able to transition to a democracy with so little bloodshed.”

He added: “I am interested in scholarships because they can really change lives.

“We want to be a different tye of business that puts back into the community.”

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David said the takings for a typical week are about £15,000, which is enough funding for two or three undergraduate degrees in South Africa.

But he has been urging people to come along and help him beat that target over a couple of pints, safe in the knowledge it’s helping someone get an eduction.

There will be five South African singers performing at the pub for half an hour this evening. They are also due to recite the traditional national anthem.

David, who visited South Africa during Apartheid, is also expected to discuss the specifics of the Rivonia Trial, in which Mandela was wrongfully imprisoned in Robben Island.

The Sekforde Arms already runs a £10,000 scholarship for young students in Islington, which has so far helped five struggling youngsters to pursue further education.

The pub was given two RIBA London awards this year, with one being for its sustainable heating, which creates energy from a heat displacement system.

What’s more, David is already talking about setting up a new £25,000 scholarship for December, which will enable a keen students to write a paper on sustainability.

He would like this research to be on the damages of plastic pollution to our oceans.

We’ll drink to that!

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