There are many statues and monuments, throughout the world, honouring Nelson Mandela. Here are five South African Nelson Mandela memorials.
VOTING LINE, PORT ELIZABETH
A series of metal figures representing all the communities who share South Africa and who voted peacefully on 27 April 1994, South Africa’s first free democratic elections, are the subject of this unusual sculpture at the foot of the drum of the Great Flag in the Donkin Reserve in Port Elizabeth, by artist Anthony Harris. The metal sculpture is 36.6 metres long, a depiction of 48 different ‘character figures’ – people of all shapes and sizes from Mandela Bay. At the front of the queue is a metal cut-out of Nelson Mandela, his fist in the air.
CAPTURE SITE SCULPTURE, HOWICK
The recent extraordinary sculpture of Nelson Mandela, by artist Marco Cianfanelli, of 50 steel column constructions, each between 6.5 and 9.5 metres high, in the heart of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands just outside Howick, is without doubt one of the country’s most unconventional. From the front a portrait of Mandela is clearly visible, whilst the vertical bars, through which one can pass, represent his imprisonment. The artist also describes how a walk through the columns ‘radiates like a burst of light’ to symbolise the political uprising of people, and a sense of solidarity.
NOBEL SQUARE, CAPE TOWN
Between a hotel and a food market at the V&A Waterfront, is Nobel Square. Bronze statues of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu stand alongside two other Nobel Prize winners – Albert Luthuli and FW de Klerk. People love to pose for photos next to each of these rather small statues with their beautiful backdrop of Table Mountain.
In front of each sculpture, created by Claudette Schreuders, is each of their preferred quotes in their chosen languages. All four men played pivotal roles in bringing about democracy in South Africa.
GROOT DRAKENSTEIN ENTRANCE, PAARL
Unveiled in 2008, this bronze three metre high statue stands at the entrance to the prison where Mandela spent the last 14 months of his prison term. Sculpted by renowned sculptor Jean Doyle, it is on an island in the roadway and every detail is symbolic of the man and his struggles. His arm is raised in the same manner as it was when he left this prison in 1990, towards the media and the world that waited for him (somewhat anxiously, as it was, since he was many hours behind schedule and there were many people who were starting to worry that he may not arrive at all). He had insisted on walking out and not being driven – his walk to freedom.
This statue is close enough to Franschhoek so we sometimes fit in a drive past on our wine tours. The house itself is set to become a place one can visit in an official manner, although we have once managed to arrange such a visit for a special group.
Standing six meters tall and weighting 2.5 tons, the bronzed Nelson Mandela statue in the Nelson Mandela Square was unveiled on the centre’s 10-year anniversary in March 2003. The unveiling also served as a celebration of 10 years of democracy in South Africa as well as the renaming of the centre from Sandton Square to Nelson Mandela Square.
Initially, it was discovered that the sculptors had cheekily inserted a bronze rabbit in Nelson Mandela’s ear. They claimed that it is their trademark but legend has it that they were cross at being rushed to finish the job and were not allowed to sign their work. The rabbit was later removed but not before Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) asked to adopt it, which request was ignored.