Change the world


“Courage is not the absence of fear, it is inspiring others to move beyond it.” These words by Nelson Mandela are the inspiration behind a series of digital tributes to Nelson Mandela University’s namesake during Mandela Month in these unprecedented times triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

The online arts packages showcasing the talents of students, staff and alumni from diverse communities and cultural disciplines, seek to shed light on the different phases of Mandela’s life through digital storytelling.

This fragmented “peeling back” approach will offer the public different images and stages of the icon’s life supported by poetry, visual art, photography, graphic design, cookery, dance, fashion and music in a digital format over a number of days.

“Symbolically, the multiple fragments of Nelson Mandela the person will be depicted by arts elements, each telling a part of his life story,” says the University’s head of Arts, Culture and Heritage Ryan Pillay.

“It should enable viewers to reflect – especially in these times – on all aspects of his life and hopefully inspire us to move beyond COVID-19 because, and to quote Madiba, ‘it is in your hands’.”

The “It is in your hands” quote, is the key message of #MaskUpMandela campaign to change behaviours and save lives. 

Included in the online line-up, which will start being rolled out on all social media platforms on the eve of Mandela Day on 18 July, are:

  • A contemporary message from Mandela University Vice-Chancellor Professor Sibongile Muthwa
  • The digital storytelling phases in the life of Nelson Mandela, including sound bites from the iconic statesman
  • Multimedia offerings in the form of visual art photography, graphic design, music, speeches, Mandela diary entry and Mandela quotes
  • Multi-disciplinary input from arts, social history and heritage, and

In addition, the University has joined hands with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, as its partner, in promoting the 18th Nelson Mandela Lecture to be delivered by the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres on 18 July 2020. 

The theme for this year’s lecture, “Tackling the Inequality Pandemic: A new Social Contract for a New Era”, will focus on the current inequalities that have come under sharp relief during the COVID-19 pandemic and will look ahead to what we must do to address the world’s fragilities and build a fair globalisation.

View the video

Contact information
Ms Zandile Mbabela
Media Manager
Tel: 0415042777