Adil Bradlow - 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.
This photograph of Madiba chatting to me on the lawn outside the official Presidential residence in Pretoria, during a break between official media events, symbolises for me the style of his presidency: informal, yet presidential; relaxed yet filled with protocol.
It also brings back a torrent of memories of a unique period of our history that I was fortunate enough to witness from the front row. For, the Mandela presidential years were a watershed for our country as Madiba placed his personal stamp on our transition from the oppression of the apartheid years, to a new society build upon the principles of freedom and justice.
From the point of view of a journalist, and in my case a photographer, following Madiba around the country and the world as he struggled night and day to this end it is the personal moments, he took out from this grand project, to meet his people, that live longest in my heart. From meeting Prince Charles and The Spice Girls on the lawns of his official residence, to pressing the flesh of farmers and residents of rural KwaZulu-Natal during the election campaign; from inspecting the honour guard in Luanda during an official visit to Angola, to strolling in the misty hills of his beloved Qunu at Christmas time; from launching the new South African Constitution to lifting the Rugby World Cup with Francois Pienaar; these were the golden years of South Africa’s democracy in which the promise of a new country burned bright. I consider myself privileged to have been a witness to them.
Quote: "Informal, yet presidential; relaxed yet filled with protocol."
Collection: Moments with a Legend