GALLERY: Sharing Madiba moments

By Drum Digital
14 December 2013

Madiba always tried to make people feel relaxed and not overwhelmed by his presence. Celebrities share their moments with Nelson Mandela and how he made them feel.

Baby Jake Matlala

“I met Madiba for the first time in 2002. I knew he always wanted to be a boxer so I gave him my championship belt as a gift because I believe he is the true champion of our country. He knocked out apartheid.

Brenda Fassie

Madiba visited the late Afro-pop legend at her home in Langa, Cape Town, shortly after he was released from prison. Brenda had written a heartfelt song, titled Black President, for Madiba while he was still in jail. Some of thesong’s most memorable lyrics are, “Let us rejoice for our president, let us sing for our president, let us prayfor our president, let us sing, let us dance, for Madiba, Madiba’s freedom.” When Brenda was admitted to a Johannesburg hospital shortly before she passed away in 2004, Madiba spent some time at her bedside.

Terry Pheto

“In 2006 we had just returned from the United States with an Oscar for the movie Tsotsi. I felt honoured to show our achievement to my hero. I felt we had represented South Africa well to the world, and I believe he was very proud of us.”


“When I was called to sing for Madiba at his home in Qunu my voice was shaking. It was such an honour to be in the presence of such a great a man.”

Loyiso Bala

I was with uTata at Ellis  Park Stadium in Johannesburg at  the media launch of his 89th birthday concert.

Madiba always tried to make people feel relaxed and not overwhelmed by his presence. At that moment I’d clearly forgotten who I was sitting next to in terms of stature. I felt like I was sharing a good laugh with an old friend.”

Yvonne Chaka Chaka

“I’ve met Madiba a number of times, but my most precious memory is when he came to have dinner at my house in 1993. He came at around 7.30pm and my childrenwere already in their pyjamas. We laughed and joked so much – he’s such a warm person.”

Thandie Klaasen

“This picture was taken at Madiba’s house in Houghton. He had invited me and a few other people for dinner. He’s the kind of man who makes even the smallest person feel special in his home. It was such a great moment a”

Rebecca Malope

“I was invited to Madiba’s first birthday after he was released from prison. I wasn’t selected to be one of the performing artists but I enjoyed the other performances.

As he was leaving the party he spotted me in the crowd and he saw I was disappointed that I couldn’t perform for him. He promised that one day I would sing for him. On my 40th birthday he invited me to have tea at his house and I finally got to sing for him. It was the greatest afternoon of my life!”


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