Rashieda Abdullah - 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.
I never dreamt that I would live to see the day that I would be in Comrade Madiba’s presence, let alone stand next to him and be part of his conversation. On the day of his release I caught a glimpse of him. I was in a car that had to transfer the President to another car. But I was so nervous that I could barely speak.
The photograph was taken at a rally at the Athlone Stadium a few days later. I was there in my capacity as a member of the ANC Provincial Executive Committee responsible for communications, and by luck I came to be positioned in his path. The opportunity to share a few words was a moment that will forever be cherished and never forgotten. He left me with the strong impression of a man with a very big heart. It didn’t matter who you were or where you come from, he found time for a soft, human word.
A few days after the rally, Mr Mandela was leaving Cape Town for Johannesburg when I had the opportunity to meet him again. I shook his hand and said, ‘goodbye’. He said that I was a good comrade, but I must not always think with my heart. I must make my heart strong and do what was required of me. It was as if he could sense my state of emotion. That was the thought he left me with. I thought about it, and it made sense. Because when you are emotional you cannot always think straight.
Quote: "It didn’t matter who you were or where you come from, he found time for a soft, human word."
Collection: Moments with a Legend