Madiba tribute: Richard Attenborough

By Kirstin Buick
06 December 2013

Richard Attenborough pays tribute to Nelson Mandela.


We lost our daughter and granddaughter in the tsunami [in Thailand in 2004]. Mandela was in England shortly afterwards and I got a phone call, “Could I go and see him?” I wasn’t in London and I was disappointed. But two days later the phone goes and on came Madiba from South Africa. “Oh my dear Richard, I so wanted to see you because I know what the loss is. And I also wanted to hug you. I want to hug you. I want to hold you in my arms. And I’m so disappointed. But I’ll hug you with my voice and the next time we meet each other I’ll hold you in my arms because I feel so sad and so sorry for you.”

It is absolutely typical of him. He didn’t say, “I want to offer my condolences.” He said, “I want to hug you, I want to hold you in my arms.”

Click here for more tributes to Tata.

Extracted from Mandela: The Authorised Portrait

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