Selfies with struggle icons
Motorists have been pulling over to snap bronze works
MOTORISTS travelling along the M4 highway in Durban can at present pull over and take photographs of – and selfies alongside – statues of world-renowned struggle icons Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu.
The 1.9m bronze statues, made by Lungelo Gumede, were placed just before the Virginia Airport off-ramp last week to commemorate Mandela Day. Both Mandela and Sisulu would have celebrated their 100th birthdays this year – Mandela on Wednesday and Sisulu in October.
Gumede, 33, said he was honoured to play a role in the celebrations of Madiba and Sisulu’s centenary birthdays by creating the sculptures. “I felt I was becoming part of history when I was tasked to do the work. People across the world are performing various activities to celebrate the lives of the great Mandela and Sisulu. I feel proud to have contributed to the celebrations through my skills and talent,” said the fine art graduate from the Durban University of Technology, who took a month to complete the works.
The sculptures will be moved to Kwamashu on Tuesday and then taken to other sites in Durban.
Thembinkosi Ngcobo, head of the city’s parks and recreation unit, said moving the statues was a challenging exercise for the unit. “We were quite amazed by the response we got from motorists along the M4. People enjoyed spending time there, and there is enough space for them to pull over for a few minutes. We will take (the statues) to the townships and other areas throughout the month of July.”
Motorist Jacob Martin said he was happy to see the statues alongside the M4. “It’s such a great artistic work and it symbolises a great man of all times. I always take pictures of Mandela statues whenever I’m in Johannesburg. It was great seeing this in our city.”
Bongani Mathe pulled over to take photographs while travelling with his family. “I think we also need our permanent Mandela statue, which we can visit during Mandela month.”