Graça’s worry over Madiba eases
Qunu museum plans range of celebrations on Mandela’s birthday
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’
SPECIAL DAY: Nokuzola Tetani, of the Nelson Mandela Museum in Qunu, speaks about the events prepared for Madiba’s birthday.