KwaZulu Natal’s Nelson Mandela Capture site is the venue for a photographic exhibition that captures Nelson Mandela in a new light. Mathew Willman spent ten years with the icon of the apartheid struggle documenting his final years. Mathews work is a personal archive of significant images which portray the importance of the man behind the iconic figure. The exhibition, which has travelled around the world and been seen by celebrities and statesmen, is on display for the first time in South Africa, and it’s hoped has finally found it’s final home in the KZN midlands.
The Mandela Heritage Collection was created as a way for Willman to share the legacy of Nelson Mandela through his incredibly intimate documentation of Mandela’s life. With the world hungry to know more, the collection has journeyed far and wide over the last 10 years enjoying remarkable success across 5 continents viewed by 48 heads of state, royalty, business leaders and millions of citizens alike.
Never before in South Africa has this collection of original photographic prints had the opportunity to be exhibited. It was whilst exhibiting at the Bill Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas in the USA in 2018 that Willman decided this collection needed to find a home within South Africa.
With the completion of the Nelson Mandela Capture Site and the support of the Umngeni Municipality the first realistic opportunity came about. The exhibition itself will go through 3 phases to truly realize its full potential. Phase one is the establishment of this rare photographic collection followed by a deepening of the experience in phases 2 & 3.
Willman is committed to educating the public about Nelson Mandela, demythologising him, opening up discourse around his life and legacy so as to re invigorate discussion, share stories but most of all to dispel untruths and ignorance for this generation, older generations and those who will come after us.
The collection is spearheaded by one truly remarkable portrait study. For the first and only time, Nelson Mandela granted Willman the rare opportunity to capture on film a photographic study of his raised ‘Amandla Fist’. This powerful image encapsulates the entire body of Willman’s 20-year documentary of Nelson Mandela’s life. For the first time this portrait study will be housed in the museum at the Mandela Capture Site in Howick. This is our Mona Lisa, our icon for the ages. How we choose to celebrate it will define the longevity, message and meaning of Mandela’s life for us as citizens of South Africa.
For more information visit Mathew Wilman Photography
View the exhibition at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site, Howick
Find out more at the Nelson Mandela Foundation
Visit the Apartheid Museum