The family of revolutionary leader Nelson Mandela is getting ready to return to Liverpool.
Dr. Makaziwe “Maki” Mandela, the former President’s eldest daughter, and Tukwini Mandela, his granddaughter, are visiting the city to add their marks to pieces of art that will be included in the city’s permanent Nelson Mandela memorial in Princes Park.
A “Freedom Bridge,” a pavilion, and 32 cylindrical stone works etched with motivational Mandela quotes will be part of the finished memorial. On the rooftop of Pollsmoor Prison, where Mandela served a portion of his prison term, an allotment was grown using oil drums, which are represented by these pedestals. The family will stop by Crosby Memorials throughout their six-day journey to personally engrave one of the stone drums.
They will also take part in a series of celebratory and commemorative events including:
- Wednesday 20 July – A private, invitation-only civic reception at the Town Hall hosted by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool Councillor Roy Gladden
- Thursday 21 July – A special ‘An Audience With’ event at St George’s Hall with the Mandela family in conversation with the anti-apartheid activist Lord Peter Hain. It will be hosted by author Marcus Ryde MBE. Tickets are £14 or £12 concession and are available from the St George’s Hall website.
- Friday 22 July – A black tie gala dinner at the Hilton Hotel for an evening of live entertainment and fundraising. Tickets are £35 (+booking fee) and can be bought via the Eventbrite website.
- Saturday 23 July – A Freedom Festival in Princes Park with live music performances and community workshops in Princes Park. Taking place from 12.30-5.30pm the family-friendly event is free. More details will be announced soon at the Mandela8 website.
The day before the Mandela’s arrival, Liverpool will officially mark Mandela Day (18 July) which will see hundreds ofschool children parade down Princes Avenue into Princes Park. They will also take part in a number of activities including a picnic, and plans are in place for litter picks, wildflower sowing and a mini-beast-hunt. This day also sees the city host the Commonwealth Games Baton Relay which will also be paraded down the Avenue by nominated baton bearers.
Dr Maki and Tukwini last visited the city in February 2019 to give their blessing to the Princes Park location for the memorial which it is hoped will be completed by the end of the year.
The work will reflect Nelson Mandela’s love of gardens and horticulture along with his struggle for freedom, equality and humanity. The spaces will be used for future activity in the park, acting as a focal point and an area to visit, reflect and educate.
Liverpool City Council made Nelson Mandela Freeman of the City in 1994.
The visit is being organised by Toxteth-based charity Mandela8 which commissioned the official memorial. The charity is working in partnership with Liverpool City Council and other supporters include Heritage Lottery Fund UK, Uniglobal Union, Unison North West, FACT, The Sovini Group, MSB Solicitors, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and housing and regeneration group Torus, the Torus Foundation and the repairs and maintenance company owned by Torus, HMS.
Dr Maki and Tukwini Mandela said:
“We hold a special place in our hearts for Liverpool and its people, and we are really excited to return to see the memorial being made and be involved in a range of special events to celebrate our father and grandfather’s legacy. It is really important that now, more than ever, hope and aspiration is a key part of the legacy we continue to fulfil. We want to share that message with Liverpool when we visit.”
Sonia Bassey, Mandela8 Chair said:
“Mandela8 is absolutely delighted to host Dr Maki and Tukwini Mandela again after so long. We are really looking forward to showing them around our wonderful city again and making sure they get to meet as many people as possible this time. We have arranged a fantastic programme to celebrate their return and the making of our memorial.”