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’ll never forget the feeling of inspiration, hope and great joy as Peter Gabriel and I welcomed Madiba to the first gathering of The Elders. As we led him into the meeting, the air was filled with the most magical singing as all the staff from Ulusaba had spontaneously gathered along the path to celebrate the opportunity to be in the presence of this great man. As he sat down and warmly greeted the other Elders, including his lovely wife Graca, Mary Robinson, President Carter, Archbishop Tutu and Kofi Annan, I was reminded how incredibly privileged we were to be listening and learning from one of the greatest human beings of all time.
As he gave his opening speech, encouraging The Elders to be bold, courageous and always focused on doing what is right for humanity, I realised the great responsibility we had to help spread his unique vision of nurturing leadership through wisdom and love, rather than politics and personal agendas. The following beautiful words from his speech to the other Elders will always remain in my heart,
“Using their experience, their moral courage and their ability to rise above the parochial concerns of nation, race and creed, they can help make our planet a more peaceful, healthy and equitable place to live … This group derives its strength not from political, economic or military power, but from the independence and integrity of those who are here. They do not have careers to build, elections to win, constituencies to please. They can talk to anyone you please, and are free to follow paths you deem right, even if hugely unpopular … I believe that, with your experience and your energies, and your profound commitment to building a better world, The Elders can become a fiercely independent and robust force for good, tackling complex and intractable issues, especially those that are not popular.”
As the meeting drew to a close there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. What a very special moment in time where Madiba encouraged this great group of leaders to work together to carry on his legacy and vision for a better world. As we led him back to the waiting car he danced with the staff, gave us each a warm hug and then stepped inside the car, rolled down the window and gave us a wonderful smile and wave as he drove off through the beautiful African bush of his beloved country”