Ireland celebrates Mandela’s legacy on birth centenary
2018-07-15 13:21:20 -
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By Staff Reporter

Centenary events marking the birth of late South African freedom fighter Nelson Mandela are to be held in Dublin, Metro Éireann has learned.

Mandela died on 5 December 2013, two decades after becoming the first president of the newly democratic South Africa, bringing a formal end to the apartheid era of racial segregation and discrimination.

South African expatriates will toast Mandela’s legacy at a “family friendly musical celebration” will take place on Sunday 22 July in Dublin’s Bello Bar. South African-based duo Qadasi & Maqhinga will provide the music on the day, supported by local acts — but space is limited so book early to avoid disappointment.

The Government is also marking Mandela’s birthday, which falls on 18 July, with an exhibition recently opened by President Michael D Higgins at Kilmainham Gaol. 

Trevor Manuel, South Africa’s longest-serving finance minister and a former colleague of Mandela, and Christopher Till, founder and current director of the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, were among the special guests at the opening on Thursday 12 July.

“[The exhibition] will offer the Irish public a unique perspective on the life and work of Nelson Mandela in the context of his relationship with Ireland and the Irish people, and is especially timely as 2018 marks the 25th year of diplomatic relations between our two countries,” said the Department of Justice.

“Ireland’s special relationship with South Africa, through our support of the anti-apartheid movement as well as our continued friendship today, will be highlighted throughout the exhibition.”

Madiba, as he was affectionately known by South Africans, was granted the Freedom of Dublin while he was still a political prisoner in 1988, The honour was formally presented to him at a ceremony in Dublin shortly after his release in 1990 after 27 years in jail.

Mandela and the final apartheid-era president FW de Klerk were jointly awarded the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize “for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa.”

The exhibition runs until 12 January 2019 and admission is free though advance booking is recommended through the Kilmainham Gaol website at kilmainhamgaolmuseum.ie.
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