Struggle icons give Long Walk to Freedom a thumbs up

By admin
28 November 2013

FILLING Madiba’s shoes isn’t easy, as any actor can tell you. But the stars who played in Nelson Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, which opened in cinemas all over the country, did a great job, the people they portray say.

The actors got the thumbs up from struggle icons such as Ahmed Kathrada (84). The former political prisoner who was on Robben Island with Mandela was impressed and satisfied with the way the film told the story. “The film will show people that many people died for the freedom that we now have,” Ahmed says. “The actors did the wonderful job.” The actor who was entrusted with filling the big shoes of Mandela was British actor Idris Elba (41). In order to prepare for his role as Mandela, Idris said he had to read a lot. All the research he did opened his eyes to things he didn’t know about South Africa. “South Africa is a very progressive country with technology and the integration amongst races,” he says. “It has a lot of good energy. People seem to want to move on from the past. I came to South Africa with a prejudice.” Legendary South African actor John Kani said Idris’ portrayal of Mandela was very believable. “A couple of minutes into the movie I believed that Idris was Mandela.” Kani’s son Atandwa Kani plays a young Mandela in the film. Mandela’s ex-wife, Winnie Mandela, is played by British actress Naomie Harris (37). Naomie also starred in film Pirates of the Caribbean and in James Bond film: Skyfall. Winnie thanked Naomie for having amazing insight into the character and for translating the emotions that she, Winnie went through. “I had dinner with her [Winnie]. She said that you are the right person for the role you have done your research. She gave me freedom to portray her,” Naomie says. Getting the South African accent was very challenging for her but she had help from her accent coach. “The most important thing about this film is that people are made aware about the apartheid era; to also learn about Mandela and to never forget,” Naomie says. Cast members include Tony Kgoroge who plays Walter Sisulu, Terry Pheto who plays Evelyn , Jamie Bartlett who plays James Gregory and Lindiwe Matshikiza who plays Zindzi Mandela.

-Katlego Mkhwanazi

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