PMB sugar artist pays sweet tribute to Mandela

2009-07-21 00:00

A PIETERMARITZBURG mother stayed up until the early hours of the morning baking and intricately decorating cupcakes to celebrate Madiba’s birthday on Saturday. Each one symbolises an important milestone in the former president’s life.

Zeheera Badat, a 28-year-old teacher who runs a baking business on the side, started making the cupcakes at 1 am on the morning of the day the world stopped to commemorate the international icon. The task took close to four hours to complete.

“It was my little way of celebrating his birthday,” she said. “I wanted to show my appreciation to a man I really am passionate about. I am fascinated by everything he’s done in his life for us.”

Badat channelled her fascination through her creations. Each one of her cupcakes is topped with a tiny icing sugar sculpture of aspects of Madiba’s life.

Her favourite one, she said, is the sculpture of Nelson Mandela’s prison cell. “It is exactly how his cell looked,” she said. “It also has two open gates representing his freedom and the year 1990 in the ANC colours.”

Other cakes were decorated with Madiba’s face, a birthday cake with the number 91 at the top, a “Madiba shirt”, and Robben Island.

“I could have made many more things that would make one remember things like the Rivonia Trial, but he is so much more than that. I wanted to make things that we know and love him for — special things about him that the whole world recognises.”

Badat also spent most of the day reading to her daughter, explaining Mandela’s importance to the country and the world.

“It’s important that she understands what he has done for us ... He was able to unite a nation that was so segregated.”

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