Lawyer. Revolutionary. Political prisoner. World leader. Elder statesman. Symbol of the struggle against oppression. Nelson Mandela has been all these things to so many people across the world in the past 50 years, and five years after his passing, he remains a human rights icon and continues to be seen globally as an advocate for change. Now a major new exhibition celebrates his life and legacy.
Nelson Mandela: The Official Exhibition is designed to educate, entertain and inspire using many personal belongings and objects never previously seen outside of South Africa. These items, including the suit worn for the opening of the South African parliament in 1996; a traditional head dress gifted to him by King Xolilizwe Sigcawu as he awarded Mandela the ancient tribal warrior honour of the Isithwalandwe Sesizwe; his presidential desk and chair; and his much loved iconic beige trench coat, are combined with immersive media presentations and scenic recreations, to enable visitors to actively engage with and experience key moments in his life.
Mandela’s epic story is revealed in a series of experiential zones and forms part of the centenary celebrations of his birth and marks five years since his passing. Visitors are taken on Mandela’s life journey, from his little-known beginnings in rural Mvezo, Transkei, through decades of turbulent struggle against the apartheid regime, to his eventual vindication and final years as South Africa’s first black president.
Nelson Mandela: The Official Exhibition makes its world premiere at 26 Leake Street on 8 February.