Mandela: Leader, comrade, negotiator, prisoner, statesman

  • Location: Slave Lodge
  • From: February 11, 2010     To: July 31, 2011
Mandela: Leader, comrade, negotiator, prisoner, statesman

A groundbreaking exhibition celebrating the life and times of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela opened at the Iziko Slave Lodge on 11 February 2010 to coincide with the twentieth anniversary of his release from prison in 1990. It is set to run for at least a year.

Nelson Mandela was central to every stage of South Africa’s epic struggle against apartheid – from formulating a new approach to the struggle in the 1940s, to leading the mass struggle of the 1950s, from the formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe in the early 1960s, to imprisonment for 27 years. He served as the first President of a democratic South Africa, according him the iconic accolade of ‘Father of the Nation’.

The exhibition traces how Mandela built a new nation from the fragments of conflict, making full use of the ‘weapons’ at his disposal: love, persuasion, forgiveness and acute political acumen – with a fair amount of self-deprecating humour thrown in for good measure. It is a rich and nuanced account of the great man’s story. Mandela’s extraordinary life is explored in thematic sections: character, comrade, leader, prisoner, negotiator and statesman. Within each theme, the narrative is presented through visual wall displays, supported by films.

Produced by the Apartheid Museum in collaboration with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Nelson Mandela Museum and the Department of Education. Support of the Mott Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the National Lottery, is also gratefully acknowledged.

Enquiries: Wieke van Delen, Tel. 021 467 7203 or email

Iziko's Education and Public Programmes department have developed a lively educational programme and other youth development programmes to accompany the exhibition.

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