The twentieth anniversary of the first democratic elections will be marked in many ways, amongst which the SABC3 will broadcast 21 Icons: A Journey to Democracy at 20:30 on Sunday 27 April 2014. I attended a preview of this broadcast recently and recommend it highly.
I caught many of the 21 week series last year. 21 notable South Africans were photographed by Adrian Steirn and then conversations were held with them. The press release speaks of their dignity, humanity and selfless struggle for a better world. Sometimes the humour is what got to me. Kumi Naidoo’s daughter queried his profession asking: “So you fight for human rights and against poverty?” On receiving affirmation she said: “You’re really crap at your job.”
The 21 Icons are Nelson Mandela (of course), George Bizos, Ahmed Kathrada, John Kani, Gcina Mhlope, Zackie Achmat, Sophia Williams De Bruyn, Johnny Clegg, Kumi Naidoo, Lillian Cingo, Hugh Masekela, Nadine Gordimer, Yvone Chaka Chaka, F W de Klerk, Gary Player, Helen Sebidi, Evelina Tshabalala, Karel Benadie, Desmond Tutu, William Kentridge and the late Phillip Tobias.
It is Zackie Achmat, who sums up the spirit of South Africa and Madiba’s legacy the best when he says with total conviction: “We will make South Africa a better place. We will. Black and white together.”
Adrian Steirn recently had the portrait of Madiba sold for a record R2 million to a US buyer. The proceeds have been donated to The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital and to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) South Africa. The remaining 20 icons’ portraits will be auctioned at a gala event in Tshwane City Hall at a charity gala event in May 2014. All funds raised will be donated to each icon’s charity of choice.
The next series will be filmed later this year. This is well worth setting an alarm to watch.