Abraham Collins - 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 in 2004 that I had the opportunity to meet Madiba in his home in Bishop’s Court, Cape Town. I was accompanying Benny Gool, Roger Friedman and Siphiwe Nkosi on a video shoot for Oryx Media.
I was among the many who only ever saw Madiba on TV and election posters. He was this larger than life icon who I only learned about in my teenage years during the early nineties. It was in my first year of high school that I learned about who Mandela really was and what his release would mean for our country. I never imagined meeting him. It was therefore a very surreal moment waiting for him in his lounge –I didn’t know what to expect. Even though Madiba was older than I imagined and walking with a cane and Zelda’s assistance –he still exuded so much energy with his laughter and smile. As he entered the room I was overwhelmed.I nervously greeted him and told him what an honour it was to meet him to which he replied that it’s an honour to meet me!
Benny arranged that we could shoot a pic with Madiba after they filmed a brief interview with him. Siphiwe and I posed next to him in his chair. He jokingly asked how many girlfriends we have. I felt like a small child –nervous and excited to be able to shake the hand of a man who transcends all other living legends. It’s a moment I will always cherish and which made me realize how lucky we are to have had Madiba in our lives.
Quote: "He replied that it’s an honour to meet me!"
Collection: Moments with a Legend