How the rest of the world is marking Mandela’s 100th birthday

18 July 2018 - 06:39
By Suthentira Govender
Nelson Mandela at the opening of the new Nelson Mandela Childrens Fund building.
Image: Media24/Gallo Images/Getty Images Nelson Mandela at the opening of the new Nelson Mandela Childrens Fund building.

From musical tributes and gala dinners to rousing exhibitions‚ the world will join South Africans to celebrate late former statesman Nelson Mandela’s centenary birthday on Wednesday. 

Kicking off the international "party"‚ London’s Southbank Centre‚ together with the Apartheid Museum and Anti-Apartheid Movement Archives‚ has launched an exhibition exploring the iconic leader’s life.

“This exhibition explores the life and times of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and marks the centenary of his birth.

“It provides insight into Mandela’s journey from being a young freedom fighter to becoming the inspiration for an international movement against South Africa’s violent and oppressive apartheid system‚ and an emblem of an ongoing struggle to build a more just and equitable world‚” said the centre.

“Mr Mandela recognised that Britain was the heartland of the anti-apartheid struggle. Twenty-two years later‚ on the occasion of his centenary‚ it is wonderful and fitting that such an important exhibition comes to life at Southbank Centre in London‚ where so many people in this country will have the chance to continue his wonderful legacy‚” said Kathi Scott‚ head of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund UK.

In 1996 on a visit to London‚ Mandela said: “The response of the people of this country exceeded my wildest expectations... I wish I had big pockets‚ because I love each and every one of you‚ and I’d like to fit you in my pocket and return with you to South Africa.”

The United Nations is also running an exhibition at its New York Headquarters entitled “Building on the Legacy of Nelson Mandela - NYC”.

The exhibition‚ which kicked off last week‚ will continue until September 2.

“The exhibit honours Mandela’s contributions to the main areas of work of the UN — peace and security‚ human rights‚ and sustainable development.

“It also illustrates initiatives taken by the UN General Assembly in recognition of the South African leader’s legacy‚” the UN said.

The exhibit is organised by the UN Department of Public Information in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of South Africa to the UN.

In Scotland‚ the Nelson Mandela Scottish Memorial Foundation will hold a fundraising gala dinner to raise funds for a permanent memorial in Nelson Mandela Place‚ Glasgow.

“2018 sees also the 25th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s visit to Glasgow in 1993 to receive the Freedoms of nine UK cities‚ districts and boroughs‚ and the dinner will mark that historic occasion too. The Glasgow Hilton was where he stayed during that visit to Scotland‚” the foundation said.

The event‚ on August 24‚ will feature a panel of special guests who will share their “Memories of Mandela”.

Anita Manning‚ auctioneer and presenter on the BBC TV shows “Bargain Hunt”‚ “Flog it” and “Antiques Road Trip” has agreed to conduct the auction.

“It is an honour to be part of the Scottish Nelson Mandela Memorial Campaign which will give Scotland a permanent reminder of this great man and his legacy‚” said Manning.

On Wednesday‚ jazz musicians from Hout Bay‚ are scheduled to perform in a free concert at the Nelson Mandela Place in Glasgow.