Abdurahman Essop - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
Welcome to the Nelson Mandela Digital Archive Project. Our aim is to locate, document, digitise, and provide access to all archival materials related to Nelson Mandela. This is a work in progress. Here is a selection of materials arranged in exhibits for your enjoyment.
It was before the local government elections in Mitchells Plain, in 1996. Mr Mandela was in the area to talk about the elections and listen to people’s concerns about their houses. I heard he was going to be there so I went to see him and hear him speak. All my life I had wanted to meet this man. I was standing there and Mr Mandela was on his way to look at one of the houses. I was just fortunate to be standing in his path. Here was Mr Mandela coming towards me! I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know how to speak. All I could say was a timid, “Hello Mr Mandela”. And he shook my hand. To me, as a strong ANC supporter, here was the man who was in charge of the positive change in our country. I never thought it would happen in my lifetime. He went into the house, had a chat with the people and was shown around. He made me feel that he was one of us, a normal person like you and me and everyone else. He did not come as a President. He was humble beyond anything I have ever experienced in my life. Later I was very fortunate to have been invited to a state function where I was photographed with him. He signed three of the photographs, and a children’s book for my grandchildren.
Quote: "He was one of us, a normal person like you and me and everyone else."
Collection: Moments with a Legend