Mandela: The Official Exhibition, produced by Round Room Live in partnership with The Royal House of Mandela (RHoM) and RHoM Investments, is the major new global touring exhibition that takes visitors on a personal journey through the life of the world’s most iconic freedom fighter and political leader. The Henry Ford is thrilled to welcome the exhibition to Michigan from October 21, 2023 to January 15, 2024.
An immersive and interactive experience, the exhibition features previously unseen footage, photos and the display of more than 150 historical artifacts and personal effects on loan from the Mandela family, museums and archives worldwide. Mandela: The Official Exhibition is designed to educate, entertain and inspire using many personal belongings and objects never previously seen outside of South Africa. These items, including the suit worn for the opening of the South African parliament in 1996; a traditional head dress gifted to him by The King of Xhosa people, King Xolilzwe Sigcawu as he awarded Mandela the ancient tribal warrior honor of the Isithwalandwe Sesizwe, for the ﬁrst time in two centuries; his presidential desk and chair and his much loved iconic beige trench coat, combine with immersive media presentations and scenic re-creations, to enable visitors to actively engage with and experience key moments in Nelson Mandela’s life.
Through a series of immersive zones – each one a dramatically different experience – the narrative of the exhibit in an incredible journey through a remarkable life.
Visitors will learn about Mandela’s beginnings in the rural Transkei, steeped in Xhosa tradition and experience the turbulent struggle against apartheid – and why it had to be defeated. Patrons can celebrate his liberation and his historic term as South Africa’s first black president, ‘Father of South Africa’, and a globally loved and respected figure. The exhibition also reflects on his passing after a lifetime of service to others, his legacy and the impact of his values and commitment.
This unprecedented exhibition provides fresh insight into the people, places and events that formed his character and the challenges he faced. Discover Nelson Mandela as you have never known him.
Lawyer. Revolutionary. Political prisoner. World leader. Elder statesman. Symbol of the struggle against oppression. Nelson Mandela has been all these things to so many people across the world in the past 50 years and five years after his passing, he continues to remain a human rights icon and to be seen globally as an advocate for change.
Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela says of the exhibition:
“The Royal House of Mandela is delighted to endorse this exhibition honoring the life and legacy of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela as it truly captures the spirit of our global icon whose name has become synonymous with international solidarity, justice and peace. It succeeds in quintessentially depicting the man and the legend whose struggle and sacrifice has captivated the hearts and minds of millions around the world. This exhibition is truly an inspiration and an inspired effort; I believe that everyone who sees it will agree that the legacy lives on and that the dream will never die.”
The exhibition appreciates the support and involvement of several South African Heritage Partners including institutions and individuals who are contributing to the exhibition content. These Heritage Partners include: The Robben Island Museum, The Liliesleaf Heritage Site, Mqhekezweni – The Great Place, Christo Brand and Zelda la Grange