Handwritten Mandela Tributes to be Preserved for Posterity
17 July 2014
On the eve of International Nelson Mandela Day, 200 books with hand-written tributes to Madiba from all over the Western Cape have been handed over to the provincial Archives and Records Service. After the great man passed away on 5 December 2013, members of the public from all over South Africa paid tribute in their own special way. The tributes collected in the Western Cape during the provincial Mandela State Funeral Project will be stored in the Archives and made available to the public on request.
Speaking at the event, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, recalled Madiba’s release. “We never even saw a picture of him, only heard whispers about him. I was with my extended family on the day of his release, waiting and singing and crying.” She said Mandela taught South Africans unity, love and peace throughout his life.
Mbombo said the tributes written by so many could assist South Africans to make peace with their enemies. She quoted Madiba as follows: “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite”.
Three of the tributes were read out by Minister Mbombo:
- “You were an inspiration, father, leader, teacher to our nation. You taught many to care and love and live in harmony. RIP for your deeds done. You will be missed”.
- “Baie dankie Madiba vir die voorbeeld wat u vir ons almal gestel het. Ek is trots om Suid-Afrikaans te wees. Mag die lig wat u vir ons laat skyn het vir altyd brand en ander leiers by u leer. Rus in vrede”.
- “Hamba kahle Madiba bekukho udonga phakathi kwethu wena walikhulula. Lala ngoxolo”.
Head of Department Brent Walters and Jolanda Hogg, head of the Archives, said it is a privilege for the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) to be asked to preserve these historic artefacts for future generations.
DCAS connects people, places and cultures through the rich and significant history stored at the provincial Archives. Members of the public are welcome to visit the reading room to build an understanding of who we are and where we came from.