South Africa: Mandela’s legacy alive and well (News feature by Craig Urquart, PANA Correspondent)

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) – Six months have passed since South Africa and the rest of the world mourned Nelson Mandela, but the prisoner-turned world statesman remains firmly in the spotlight, thanks to the numerous initiatives that continue to highlight his legacy.

This week, the world premiere of “Madiba, The African Opera” was staged at the Pretoria State Theatre just a few kilometres away from where he took his historic oath of office to become the country’s first democratic leader 20 years ago.

The production will run until 1 June and will then be staged at the Nelson Mandela Museum in Qunu on 18 July, to mark Mandela’s birthday. This will be followed by performances in Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein. In 2015, the production will embark on a tour of Europe.

Similarly, late last year, the movie, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”, was launched. Based on his best selling biography, the film chronicles his early life, coming of age, education and 27 years in prison before becoming President and working to rebuild the country's once segregated society.

Following his death, a giant statue of Mandela was unveiled at the Union Buildings in Pretoria and, just last month, a bust of the former President was unveiled in Parliament, in Cape Town.

There are many other Mandela busts and statues around the country and, of course, there are many roads, buildings, stadiums and institutions around the world named after the global icon.  

In June, South Africa’s Penguin publishing firm will be publishing a book, “Good Morning Mr. Mandela”, by Zelda la Grange. There are many new Mandela books on the shelves, but what makes this story so extraordinary is that it chronicles the experience of a white Afrikaner who supported apartheid before Mandela appointed her as his assistant. They became close friends and la Grange was at his death bed in December.

Helen Conford, Penguin’s publishing director, said the book would touch every reader. “It has brought tears to the eyes of everyone who has read it. It shines with honesty and love. The lessons Nelson Mandela gave her as he renewed his country offer hope to everyone,” she said. The book will be available worldwide.

And Cape Town-based digital marketing agency, Quirk, this week called on international toy maker Lego to create a special Mandela set of its interlocking plastic brick toys to honour Mandela.

"This is our country's greatest story. Let's never stop telling it. Help us keep Madiba's legacy alive to children of all ages,” Quirk said in a statement.

There are many, many more Mandela-inspired initiatives in the pipeline which will continue to cement his legacy as South Africa’s finest son.
-0- PANA CU/VAO 25May2014

25 may 2014 08:20:40

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