• Ford SA created a special one-of-a-kind bakkie for Mandela month.
• The special Ranger is aptly called 'Mandla'.
• Four artists created the bakkie's design.
• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za
As part of celebrating Mandela Day, Ford South Africa manufactured a special Ranger bakkie in memory of the late Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
This year, the manufacturing team at Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) has honoured Madiba with a unique tribute, transforming a Ford Ranger into a one-of-a-kind piece of mobile art for donation to the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
When Mandela stepped down as president in 1999, he founded the Foundation that served as the base for his charitable work, covering a wide range of endeavours, ranging from building schools to HIV/AIDS work.
Neale Hill, managing director at Ford SA, says: "At Ford, we are very proud of our South African heritage. The company has an exceptionally proud legacy in the country spanning more than 96 years - one built on continued investment and innovation to produce segment-defining products, empower communities through creating job opportunities, and striving to improve the world around us for a brighter future. No one did more in pursuit of the South African dream than Madiba himself. It is thus a privilege to be able to hand over this one-of-a-kind Ranger to the worthy Nelson Mandela Foundation."
Special Ford Ranger designed especially for Mandela month 2020 (QuickPic)
Unique bakkie, called 'Mandla'
The designs on the bakkie were done by a team of four artists who are employed at Ford's Silverton Assembly plant's paint shop. Ford says that it took the artists 48 hours to complete the finished artwork - hours mainly outside their regular shifts.
Dora Mmekwa, manufacturing and engineering manager at the plant, said: "For all of us at the paint shop this was a very exciting and humbling opportunity that allowed our artists to showcase their skills. At first, the team were quite nervous. Mandela's image is so iconic that the team were eager to do him and the Foundation justice. Once they got started, it was clear there was no need to be anxious. The vehicle looks superb, and we are all extremely proud to have been a part of its creation."
Ford's tradition of naming its art cars gives the nearly 3 500 staff an opportunity to participate in the fun. Staff were asked to submit their preferred title for the car, and it was Mandla that was ultimately selected.
Hill concluded: "It pays homage to the powerful slogan 'Amandla… Awethu' that was often chanted by Tata Nelson Mandela when he had his fist clenched up in the air. In addition, Mandla is a very popular Zulu/Xhosa name that means power or strength. I'm sure you'll agree that this is a fitting description for our powerful Ranger."
Compiled by: Charlen Raymond