Thursday, November 27, 2008

Nelson Mandela Square

I was in Johannesburg over the last couple of days at the SoccerEx exhibition. The exhibition took place at the Sandton Convention Centre. Sandton is a very (and I mean VERY) upmarket area with hotels, shopping centres and corporate office headquarters. One of the most upmarket complexes is Nelson Mandela Square. It consist of a shopping centre on the lower levels and offices at the top. At the entrance to the big courtyard stands a statue of one of the greatest leaders of the 20th Century. Nelson Mandela. You can read more about this great man at the end of this post.

The six metre high bronze statue depicts him doing his very famous "Madiba shuffle". As I have mentioned before, I live in Port Elizabeth which is part of the metropolitan area of Nelson Mandela Bay. It is the only town or city in South Africa that was allowed to take use his name.

I got the following short biography on Wikipedia, so if you want to read the whole life story of Nelson Mandela, go here.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, born 18 July 1918, was the first President of South Africa to be elected in a fully representative democratic election, serving in the office from 1994–1999. Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist, and the leader of the African National Congress' armed wing Umkhonto we Sizwe. The South African courts convicted him on charges of sabotage, as well as other crimes committed while he lead the movement against apartheid. In accordance with his conviction, Mandela served 27 years in prison, spending many of these years on Robben Island.
Both in South Africa and internationally, Mandela's opposition to apartheid made him a symbol of freedom and equality for many. However, the apartheid government and various other nations condemned him and the ANC as communists and terrorists.
Following his release from prison on 11 February 1990, Mandela, supporting reconciliation and negotiation, helped lead the transition towards multi-racial democracy in South Africa. Since the end of apartheid, many have frequently praised Mandela, including former opponents.
Mandela has received more than one hundred awards over four decades, most notably the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. He is currently a celebrated elder statesman who continues to voice his opinion on topical issues. In South Africa he is often known as Madiba, an honorary title adopted by elders of Mandela's clan. The title has come to be synonymous with Nelson Mandela.


  1. I agree he is one the most remarkable men in the world, a wise, wise man, the statue is wonderful and very fitting for a man who has done so much for so many people in all corners of the globe.

  2. I don't know enough about this great man. He would have to be remarkable not to be hard and bitter after spending 27 years in prison.