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The Legend and the Legacy

As the sun rises on 18th July 2013, the world¿s gaze will once again turn towards Nelson Rolilahla Mandela, South Africa¿s first elected black President and one of humanity¿s greatest leaders. This Mandela Day, Madiba, as he is popularly known, will turn 95.

From the fiery anti-apartheid activist who shaped his nation¿s long, bloody struggle for independence to an internationally feted champion of human rights, Mandela¿s life is the stuff of legends.


In his sunset years, the South African ex-President leaves behind an amazing legacy, one that the world celebrates in diverse ways.

Mandela Books

A host of books written over the years keep alive the fascinating, colourful and often tormented life of Nelson Mandela. Here¿s a quick sampling:

What better way to explore his extraordinary personality and political journey than through his own writing? Mandela¿s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom (1994) was an election eve publication and is notable for his deeply sincere commitment to a just and fair regime for all South Africans.

Mandela: The Authorized Biography is replete with detailed information. The author, journalist Anthony Sampson was a close associate of Mandela.

To fully understand Mandela¿s legacy against South Africa¿s historical background, read Francis Wilson¿s compelling Dinosaurs, Diamonds & Democracy: A Short, Short History of South Africa.

Sarah Groves¿ A Prisoner in the Garden is a visual documentation of Mandela¿s 27 years long imprisonment on Robben Island with extracts from his writings.

A picture book version of Mandela¿s autobiography and Nelson Mandela: the Authorised Comic Book introduces children to Mandela¿s life, his political career and achievements.

Mandela Memorabilia

Madiba¿s prolonged recent illness has led to a surge in demand for Mandela collectibles of all sorts. Over the years, the South African Mint has issued many coins to honour the great leader:

  • The 1994 coin issued to mark Mandela¿s inauguration as President.
  • The 2000 ¿smiling Mandela¿ coin
  • The 2008 birthday coin, commemorating Mandela¿s 90th birthday.

Currency notes and coins featuring Nelson Mandela are available for bidding. Mandela medallions, crafted in gold, silver, brass, bronze have also witnessed a rise in popularity as the world¿s media tracks his deteriorating health.

Apart from these rare Mandela collectibles, there are Mandela paintings, signed Mandela photographs, books and other bric-a-brac that are currently flying off the shelves.


Mandela Quotes
Long after Madiba¿s time, and ours, his words will live on, arguably the greatest treasure from his legacy. I leave you with some inspiring Mandela quotes:

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
There is no such thing as part freedom.There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its¿ children.

Happy birthday, Madiba!

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