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Homeland – Artwork by Nelson Mandela

Homeland, drawing by Nelson MandelaHomeland, drawing by Nelson Mandela
Courtesy of WeTransfer and The House of Mandela Art

Nelson Mandela was a legendary South African anti-apartheid activist, and political leader. Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country’s first black president and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. Mandela served 27 years in prison for his anti-apartheid activities, most of that time was at Robben Island from 1964 – 1982. Nelson Mandela was also an artist. After stepping down as South Africa’s president Mandela began creating drawings, using charcoal and pastels, based on his memories at Robben Island and Qunu – the village where he was born.

In honor of Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday, WeTransfer and The House of Mandela Art are presenting an online exhibition of his artwork. The exhibition, featuring The Homeland series, is accompanied by an interview with Dr. Makaziwe Mandela, Nelson Mandela’s eldest daughter.

Qunu, Mvezo, drawing by Nelson MandelaQunu, Mvezo, drawing by Nelson Mandela
Courtesy of WeTransfer and The House of Mandela Art

People think my dad was a politician and that Nelson Mandela just fell from the sky — that he doesn’t have a sense of place, a sense of belonging. For me, the Homeland sketches are very important for the world because they give a glimpse of who my father was holistically. How proud he was of who he was and where he came from, even though he came from humble beginnings. That’s what I want the world to see. Not just the politician.
– Dr. Makaziwe Mandela

Table Mountain, drawing by Nelson MandelaTable Mountain, drawing by Nelson Mandela
Courtesy of WeTransfer and The House of Mandela Art