Friday, February 12, 2010

MANDELA: Son of Africa, Father of a Nation

The 11th of February is a very significant day in South Africa! It marked the day one of the greatest leaders of our time was released from prison, in 1990, and the nation was released from bondage, misery and despair and suddenly hope was the most fashionable attitude. It is in light of this that Ster-Kinekor Maponya Mall and The Nelson Mandela Foundation held a movie screening which, more than anything, shows a detailed and in-depth Documentary of the Greatest Man in South Africa; Dr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.This was one of the most humbling experiences I have ever had at a cinema. In the heart of Soweto - a place where, 25 odd years ago, was identified as a soon-to-be bloodbath during the political heights of the apartheid regime - I was greeted by warm faces who were all eagerly awaiting to "meet" the man of the moment - to interact with him, if only by what he says through the screen. Veterans of the entertainment industry by way of Ms Abigail Khubeka, Mr Richard Maponya and Dr Mandela's Great grandson, Luvuyo Mandela (who, evidentally got his humour from his great grandfather, I later realised) gave the State of Nation Address a miss to celebrate 20 years of freedom with guests.

Trish Downing of Ster-Kinekor gave a quick introduction to guest speakers and by far the most compelling was Dr Peter Magubane (an acclaimed photographer) who presented a slideshow following Dr Mandela for 10 days immediately after his release. To digress a little; in anticipation of this day, I saw Skin (directed by Anthony Fabian) to set the scene of a "normal" family facing hardships during the apartheid era and this too elevated my excitement of the glorious day.

Emotionally charged; I watched as the man of the moment started his journey to liberating South Africans by gently introducing himself and comically, told us how he earned the name "Nelson."

With great songs of struggle, hope and joy the movie ended, too short if you ask me but the footage that Directors Jo Menell and Angus Gibson (who also sat in the audience) managed to capture a view of the great man's life as we've never really seen it - I was highly impressed!

The 11th of February has officially, and deservingly, been declared Madiba Day by the United Nations -if only we could get the day off too...

Thanks to Total Exposure for the invite - I am truly humbled to have been a part of the evening.
(Pics sourced from

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