Madiba’s many statues
Five years since his passing, he lives on
WHEN it comes to statues, no other icon stands taller than the late Struggle hero Nelson Mandela.
It has been five years since his death and his Madiba Magic continues to live on through the many different sculptures made in his name.
Some of the most popular statues include the bronze Nelson Mandela Square statue in Sandton. It was commissioned in 2002 and completed two years later. Sculpted by Kobus Hattingh and Jacob Maponyane, the effigy was erected in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of South Africa’s first democratic elections. The statue stands 6m high and measures 2.3m from elbow to elbow, weighing 2.5 tons (2 500kg).
Most recently, in September, a lifesize sculpture of the former president was unveiled by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the UN in New York.
Makaziwe Mandela, who was there to represent the family, said the statue was not only a testimony to Madiba but to what South Africa was capable of producing.
The bust of Mandela with his outstretched arms will be located in the UN visitors’ centre as a permanent reminder of South Africa’s liberation icon.
UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres referred to Mandela as one of humanity’s great leaders, hailing REUTERS African News Agency (ANA)
him as an outstanding man and a global citizen.
Street names, school names, restaurants, a hospital, a foundation and many other structures of value have been named after the icon.
In Johannesburg, the popular “Shadow Boxing” Mandela statue can be seen opposite the local magistrate’s court.
Unveiled at the time that Mandela
was in hospital in 2013, the painted steel sculpture is a 6m depiction, inspired by a famous photograph by Drum photographer Bob Gosani, of Mandela as a young amateur boxer.
The monument is multifaceted, made up of layers of painted metal sheets making it two and three dimensional. Marco Cianfanelli, the artist behind the work, described the positioning of the statue as a representation of the legal system.
Elsewhere in the country stands another Cianfanelli Mandela sculpture. In Howick, KwaZulu-Natal, former president Jacob Zuma unveiled the Mandela Capture Monument for the 50th anniversary of Mandela’s capture by police in 1962.
The sculpture comprises 50 metal columns ranging in height from 5m to 10m. Visitors can only see the portrait of Mandela at a point 35m away from the front of the sculpture.
Naval Hill in Bloemfontein is also home to a sculpture of Madiba. In 2012, 94 white doves were released into the air to signify the life of the icon.
The 8m statue of Mandela, which has a clenched fist in the air, faces the Waaihoek Methodist Church, where the ANC was founded 100 years ago. The statue is on the top of Naval Hill.
The unveiling of the bronze Mandela statue at the Union Buildings grounds in Pretoria, pictured, on the Day of Reconciliation in 2013, marked the end of the 10-day mourning period of his death. The statue is believed to be the largest statue of all, weighing 4 tons and costing R8 million to make. On the day of the reveal, 21 cannons were fired and three helicopters flew the South African flag above the statue.
Other statues include the bronze statue by Jean Doyle at the Drakenstein Correctional Centre, the mural at the iconic Orlando Towers in Soweto, the statue in London’s Parliament Square and the stained glass window at Regina Mundi Church in Soweto.
A 9m bronze statue of Nelson Mandela is at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.