Graça’s worry over Madiba eases

Qunu mu­seum plans range of cel­e­bra­tions on Man­dela’s birth­day

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - HENRIËTTE GELDEN­HUYS and SAPA-AFP hen­ri­ette.gelden­huys @inl.co.za

AS Graça Machel, wife of ail­ing Nel­son Man­dela, said yes­ter­day she was now less anx­ious about his con­di­tion, res­i­dents of the peace icon’s home town of Qunu are gear­ing up to mark his 95th birth­day on Thurs­day.

Af­ter five weeks in hos­pi­tal, Machel said yes­ter­day Man­dela was con­tin­u­ing to re­spond pos­i­tively to treat­ment. “I would say that to­day I’m less anx­ious than I was a week ago,” she told the SABC.

Mean­while, in Qunu the Nel­son Man­dela Mu­seum is plan­ning a range of ac­tiv­i­ties to co­in­cide with Man­dela’s birth­day, in­clud­ing a dis­cus­sion panel in­volv­ing some of the Rivonia tri­al­ists who were tried with Man­dela 50 years ago. Man­dela turns 95 on Thurs­day.

The mu­seum’s se­nior mar­ket­ing man­ager, Noku­zola Te­tani, said the sur­viv­ing tri­al­ists would be vis­it­ing the mu­seum on Wed­nes­day, where they would “share their sto­ries”. The tri­al­ists were ar­rested 50 years ago, in 1963, in Rivonia in Joburg, for their role in try­ing to sab­o­tage the apartheid govern­ment.

Man­dela later joined them in the trial, and the ac­cused were sen­tenced to life im­pris­on­ment. The tri­al­ists will be joined by Arts and Cul­ture Min­is­ter Paul Te­tani said.

On Tues­day, the mu­seum’s staff will be in Queen­stown to launch a trav­el­ling ex­hi­bi­tion.

This ex­hi­bi­tion fo­cuses on Man­dela and chief Al­bert Luthuli, and the sim­i­lar­i­ties in their lead­er­ship styles. Both were pres­i­dents of the ANC and No­bel Peace Prize win­ners.

And on Man­dela’s birth­day, the mu­seum will ded­i­cate the day to “out­reach work”, she said. This would in­clude re­paint­ing the Qunu ju­nior sec­ondary school “where Man­dela com­pleted his Sub A at the time, to­day known as Grade 1”.

On the same day a “hu­man rights gar­den” would be launched which would es­tab­lish sus­tain­able veg­etable gar­dens at the mu­seum and in

Mashatile, Qunu, where Man­dela grew up from the age of two to nine. “It’s about the right to nu­tri­tion and un­der­stand­ing the re­spon­si­bil­ity of car­ing for the gar­den,” said Te­tani. On Thurs­day evening the mu­seum will launch a cof­fee ta­ble book based on Man­dela’s au­to­bio g r aphy, Long Walk To Freedom. It’s a shorter ver­sion of the book and filled with pic­tures de­pict­ing the var­i­ous stages of Man­dela’s life.

Dur­ing the same event, a group of artists from The Nether­lands, led by the for­mer pres­i­dent of the anti-apartheid move­ment there, Fulco van Aurich, will hand over art­work to the mu­seum.

Sur­viv­ing Rivonia tri­al­ists plan to visit the mu­seum where they will ‘share their sto­ries’

PIC­TURE: CINDY WAXA

SPE­CIAL DAY: Noku­zola Te­tani, of the Nel­son Man­dela Mu­seum in Qunu, speaks about the events pre­pared for Madiba’s birth­day.

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