Madiba’s wise words echo on Times Square

2013-04-28 14:00

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The billboards on New York’s Times Square usually advertise clothing, movies and corporate brands.

But this month, every night just before the clocks strike midnight, the screens have come alive with the words of Nelson Mandela.

It’s part of a new initiative by the Tribeca Film Institute, founded by Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro, and the Nelson Mandela Foundation, to keep Madiba’s legacy alive outside his home nation.

Mandela’s family – at least, two of its members – is intimately involved.

Grandsons Kweku and Ndaba head up a project called Power of Words, which will see five filmmakers create short films about Mandela’s legacy.

The pair helped choose inspiring quotes from the former president’s famous speeches to create the promo that’s been running on Times Square’s massive screens.

“We’ve been working for 2 years on this,” says Kweku. “I initially met with Tribeca in 2011, and we began talking about what we wanted to do. But it was very hard for us to find a concept that we felt was real, and that would involve a community, and not only focus on my granddad but people as a community, and what they can do as individuals.”

It’s no secret that clan Madiba doesn’t always see eye to eye about how to manage their famous scion’s world famous name, face and legacy.

But Kweku and Ndaba dismiss criticism of the most controversial project, the reality TV show Being Mandela.

Kweku is one of the producing partners of Being Mandela, so maybe his support of the project is no surprise.

He says: “(Stars Zaziwe Dlamini-Manaway and Swati Dlamini) are bearers of the Mandela name and it’s their legacy as much as it is anybody’s – mine or Ndaba’s. So I strongly support them and Ndaba does too.”

Dealing with a legacy like Mandela’s, he says, is a deeply personal affair.

“As a family, we’re each trying to find our own way and do things that are important to us; things that are celebrating our grandfather’s life. For myself and Ndaba, we want to do things that get the community involved.”

Times Square seems a good starting point for getting attention.

Around 350 000 people visit it each day, and the duo hope the image of Mandela’s words will make them pause, if only for a moment.

“We’re in the centre of the world – the centre of capitalism – and if you can just stop for two or three minutes, and see this man who really fought for humanity, in the midst of all this luxury and materialism, it can just remind each other of our humanity and our community,” Ndaba says.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Men.24 Model of the Week: Wendy from Cape Town

Find out more about our featured model, Wendy from Cape Town


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.