Mandela life story set for TV series

2012-01-09 11:36
Cape Town - The life of South African struggle icon Nelson Mandela will be portrayed in a six-hour mini-series, reports The Guardian.

The series, to be entitled Madiba, will span six decades - including former president Mandela's leadership of the ANC, his imprisonment on Robben Island and his triumphant election as the first black president of South Africa, following the first democratic elections in 1994.

Mandela, 93, has reportedly given his blessing for the drama, which will be shot primarily on location in South Africa. Mandela's grandson Kweku Mandela, 26, will serve as producer, reports Variety, through his Africa Entertainment company, with the UK's Left Bank Pictures and Canada's Blue Ice Films collaborating on the project.

'Focus on the man'

Two of Mandela's autobiographies Conversations with Myself and Nelson Mandela by Himself will serve as the source material for the television series, to be written by Nigel Williams.

Kweku Mandela said the aim of the project is to craft a portrait of his grandfather as a person, beyond his political and human rights achievements.

"I felt if we were going to do this, it was important to put the focus on the man," Mandela told Variety.

"That's why in the research for this, it's important that we get as close to his thoughts as we can. The people who helped guide him and shape him as a person will be strong characters."

Andy Harries, a UK producer on the series, told The Guardian that he and his producing partner Marigo Kehoe had a brief meeting with Mandela at his home in Johannesburg to discuss the project and get his personal blessing.

Harries said he believed a "quality six-hour TV series with a budget of over $3m an hour will be able to give the story the space and breadth it needs".

Reality series

Nelson Mandela and other family members will provide input and feedback on the scripts. When told about plans for the project, Kweku said his grandfather asked: "How much am I getting paid?"

Casting for the series is yet to be finalised.

Madiba follows the 2009 Clint Eastwood film Invictus, in which Morgan Freeman portrayed Mandela as a newly elected president who led South Africa to unity in support of the Springbok rugby team, who went on to win the 1995 World Cup on home soil.

Three of Mandela's grandchildren - Swati Dlamini, Dorothy Adjoa Amuah and Zaziwe Dlamini-Manaway, who grew up in the US - are set to star in an unscripted reality show called Being Mandela about their lives as successful businesswomen. The show is due to be aired sometime in 2012.

A movie focused on the life of Mandela's former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, directed by South African filmmaker Darrell James Roodt and starring US actors Jennifer Hudson as Winnie and Terrence Howard as Nelson Mandela, debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2011 to mixed reviews.

A South African release date has not yet been established.


  • Sharkshoot - 2012-01-09 12:03

    Please let this be on state television or at least only aired on late at night. The Super 15 is more important and way more entertaining.

      Tc - 2012-01-09 12:30

      Just imagine the lies and propoganda to be dished up! Rubish. And SABC will be willing play-mates.

      mashavha - 2012-01-09 16:08

      @sharkshoot I am not suprised u wrote that kind of crap,give the oldman some respect wanker

      RE - 2012-01-09 16:30

      luckily i dont have a TV, and are they gonna show the ANC being funded by the russians n blowing up innocent people? why dont they make a TV series about mugabe as well?

      GrootWitHaai - 2012-01-10 22:45

      It'll be about how he was not a terrorist and didn't intend to use the explosives found at his house to maim and kill innocent civilians.

  • STYLEbudd - 2012-01-09 12:23

    I love Mandela with all my heart - he's a real legend but really people - leave the man alone to enjoy his last days in peace and quiet!

      dr.djdebennzo - 2012-01-09 14:29

      he's resting, it's not like he'll be the main character or producer u mormon

      RE - 2012-01-09 18:14

      check ur spelling retard.. MORON!!!!

      GrootWitHaai - 2012-01-10 22:47

      Last he gonna croak any day now?

  • Cassandra - 2012-01-09 13:40

    Im in agreement and disagreement with the comments. I doubt the good and bad aspects of what was done in the past will be aired. Madiba is an icon for the good he has done. But leave the man alone! He has been through enough, having some silly tv series, that will no doubt come under some criticism as someone within power will disagree with it, is just a waste of time an energy. Also he has TWO bloody books! if people are interested enough to know more about the man behind the struggle than read a book for god sake don't be lazy and wait to watch it! One last thing... APARTHEID IS OVER SO GET OVER IT, stop opening old wounds.

      Johan - 2012-01-09 14:31

      Benny, The only reason why its not over in your head is because you need to be able to blame something for self-inflicted fkups in life.

      RE - 2012-01-09 18:49

      guess u got nothing 2 say mr "i potato who only got 1 IQ

  • Irene - 2012-01-09 14:23

    Maybe they'll also show that he stayed in jail for so many years because it was his choice to do so. If he had renounced violence, he'd have been let out much earlier, but then he wouldn't be a 'hero'.

      Johan - 2012-01-09 14:27

      I'm glad I'm not the only one here knowing the "extra" info. Good going Irene.

  • yolie.Landa - 2012-01-09 14:39

    grand son trying to make moola for himself. Weve read books and watched him. We love him but this is enuf. First it was a reality show of his granddaughters now its him. Hay give chance to others to be famous aseblief

  • naj.dsouza - 2012-01-09 14:40

    Dr.Djdebennzo....yesterday is gone...wake up man!!!

      Richard - 2012-01-09 16:20

      Yes the past is gone. If the white man did not land in this country you would still be walking and not driving. Where do you think technology came from. Mugabe threw the whites out and now all the Zimbabwe people are moving to SA coz they cannot live in the country any longer. Wake up man, hatred will bring you nothing.

  • Richard - 2012-01-09 15:09

    Life Story of Mandela according to Mandela. Story will be so one sided and make no mistake I have huge respect for Mandelabut please one whole series of pure propaganda.

  • comurray - 2012-01-09 16:08

    The whole truth will never ever be told. All we will see are the Afrikaaners in khaki uniforms beating the poor blacks with what ever for no reason what so ever. The planting of pipe bombs and grenades in public areas frequented by white women and children will also not be shown. All you will see is blacks being herded up and placed in jail with no trials. Then the great man being sent to Roben Island and working on chipping stones etc.

      henk63 - 2012-01-09 18:27

      Jip, that's my take on it as well. It will all be about the "innocent victim to heroic saviour" transformation, how the good triumphed over evil etc. The whites will all be plodding retards, waving guns around looking for blacks to shoot and raping black women. White politicians will all be evil scheming bastards, intent on wiping out the black race. Blacks will be peaceloving, suave, innocent angels who are forced into slave labour or else, shot. The real sad thing is that the blacks who see it will hate whites even more afterwards. Like the coverage on the ANC celebrations, I will see this series for about 6 seconds in totality - just long enough to see what it is before I change channels.

  • jandreleroux - 2012-01-09 18:08

    It would be nice if all these bloggers who call themselves Mandela-supporters showed more of his compassion and understanding to their fellow bloggers!

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