R450?000 for Mandela’s memories

2014-07-27 15:00

Letting go of some of her most prized, intimate memories of her grandfather for an auction was very tough for Ndileka Mandela?–?but it was for charity and that made things easier, she says.

Ndileka, who established the Thembekile Mandela Foundation in honour of her late father, said the hardest thing to part with was an imprint of her grandfather’s hands made in 2000.

“It was a difficult choice to put the Hand Studies up for auction because it contains my grandfather’s DNA,” she said.

The Hand Studies, which auctioneers Stephan Welz & Co declared the highlight of the auction, fetched R236?000.

It was bought by a couple saving that amount as a down payment for a house.

“I’m very happy that the items we put up have found a good home with people who really cherish them with all their hearts.

“The Hand Studies is unique?–?I personally imprinted his hands. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime work that will never be ­repeated,” said Ndileka.

She was one of scores of collectors who put memorabilia under the hammer on the eve of Mandela Day.

Other items she auctioned included an autographed photo of Mandela and Michael Jackson, which sold for R15?930.

Ndileka said she was delighted that the auction had raised R450?000, but that she was not sure if she would auction any more memorabilia in future.

“I started collecting memorabilia when I was 10 years old, when my grandfather first wrote to me from prison. I don’t think I will put other items up for auction because I want to preserve them and keep them for my children. The main purpose was to raise funds for charity, not to commercialise my grandfather.”

Clarkebury High School in Ngcobo, which Nelson Mandela attended, is one of the beneficiaries – there are plans to develop its hostel and classrooms.

The foundation, which was registered in February, will also use the funds to kickstart a programme for sanitary towels for schoolgirls and plans to build three classrooms in Limpopo.

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