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The Mandela Family usually gets involved in these initiatives, and this year his eldest granddaughter, Ndileka Mandela, decided to put some of her grandfather's memorabilia up for auction.
From kitsch chess-pieces to salt ’n pepper shakers. A rare leather-etched portrait of Nelson Mandela. This charcoal print, which fetched over R140-thousands rands.
To artwork of the Rivonia Trial, which went for nearly a quarter of a million rands. There were no record-breaking sales at this Mandela Auction. But organisers say it was not about breaking records.
Instead it was about breaking new ground in the way people collect Mandela artwork and also to raise funds for a new Mandela Charity.
Much of the proceeds of the auction will go to the newly-founded Thembekile Mandela Foundation. The father of Ndekile Mandela and the son of Nelson Mandela, who died while he was in prison in 1969.
"These are not just handprints. It’s part of his DNA. And for me to part with them. But I know that Granddad will always be in my heart," Nidileka Mandela, Nelson Mandela's granddaugther said.
Both Ndileka Mandela and the auctioneers said they hoped that this auction would not just have attracted investors out to make a quick buck. But instead encourage people to collect Mandela Memorabilia for the love of the man and what he had stood for.
"And I hope that when they buy the pieces, they don’t buy them as a sort of investment. But they buy them because they feel close to him. And it’s a piece of him," Nidileka Mandela said.
"A lot of people bought Mandela items tonight, not as an investment, but as collection items. Because they were collecting from the heart. Which is something I’ve been trying to advocate for a while now. Don’t buy it from the head. Buy it from the heart. I’m the auctioneer and I made money. But it’s very special for me this auction. Not because I made the money, but because he’s a very special man," Savo Tufegdzic, auctioneer said.
Ndilkela says the Mandela family are once again humbled that the world will be remembering their patriarch on what would have been his 96th birthday. But they are still battling to come to terms with his loss.
"This is a man that for me personally I looked up to as a father. Not as a grandfather because I lost my father when I was four. And Granddad represented all that was a male to me. So it’s very, very hard because you know we might have ended our mourning period, but in our hearts we’re still mourning," Nidileka Mandela said.
July the 18th is Nelson Mandela's birthday, now declared by the UN as Nelson Mandela International Day.
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