From today consumers in 20 countries around the world will be able to send their birthday wishes via SMS to former South African president Nelson Mandela as he approaches his 91st year later this month.

Happy Birthday, in all its guises, is reputedly the most sung song in the world. The new initiative will, quite possibly, will make “happy birthday” the most texted message in the world. A mixture of shared and dedicated PSMS codes have been set up in over 20 countries making this one of the biggest premium SMS fundraising initiatives to be staged.

Managed by Mandela’s HIV/AIDS global awareness campaign 46664 and strategically live for 46,664 minutes all profits received from text charges will go to the Nelson Mandela Legacy Trust and other charitable organisations supported by Mandela. These include The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, The Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Mandela Rhodes Foundation.

Well wishers can text a message to a specific short code in country, they’ll receive a return thank you message along with a PIN allowing them to view their message securely online at The specially created birthday site also contains a raft of celebrity messages both written and filmed from Mandela’s supporters around the world. 

46664 International Director Tim Massey said, “We are delighted to be launching this campaign allowing so many people around the world the chance to wish this extraordinary man happy birthday. A text based service allows more people to feel part of the celebrations in a very simple way and we hope will raise significant revenues to support the ongoing work of the charities that bear Mr. Mandela’s name and 46664.”