The City has honoured former president Nelson Mandela’s legacy through a series of photographs taken by two veteran photo-journalists. This past week the Mother City paid tribute to our former President Nelson Mandela with the an incredible display that runs for the next ten months at The Civic Centre called the Nelson Mandela Legacy Exhibition. Scores of people and dignitaries gathered at the Civic Centre for the official launch.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, former Anglican South African archbishop of Cape Town Njongonkulu Ndungane and Minister in The Presidency Trevor Manuel were among the scores of people who gathered for the official launch this past Sunday and who saw for the first time the collection of photographs and other visual materials that record important moments of the statesman’s contribution to democracy.
Tutu used the launch of the exhibition to tell a story about how he once told Madiba that he was not impressed with his dress sense, especially the “shirts that look like pajamas”. To which Madiba replied: “That’s rich, coming from a man who wears a dress.” Another highlight was an impromptu sing-song by Manuel and Reverend Chris Nissen in honour of Mandela.
Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille said it was when Mandela recovered from an illness last year that she had the idea of celebrating the man during his lifetime. “Mr Mandela’s greatest gift to South Africa was to provide a template of leadership to which we should all aspire,” the Mayor said during her presentation.
“His generosity of spirit formed the bridge that all South Africans used to cross from our divided past to an inclusive future. He transcended race, he transcended class and he transcended geographic, cultural and political divisions. The qualities that he personally brought to the hard tasks of achieving our democracy, of creating our Constitution, establishing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, fostering education and combating HIV and Aids are qualities that the City of Cape Town is committed to emulating,” she added.
Guests at the launch were entertained by MTV & SAMA Award Winning South African band Freshlyground.
* The Nelson Mandela Legacy Exhibition can be seen at the Concourse Level, Civic Centre, 12 Hertzog Boulevard, Cape Town, daily from 10am to 6pm until April 2014. Entrance is free.
The exhibition is a must-see for every Capetonian, to pay tribute to Madiba’s monumental contribution to our city, to our country, and to the world.