9 of Nelson Mandela’s finest moments on YouTube


The world is in mourning following the passing of former South African president and statesman Nelson Mandela. The anti-apartheid hero who became an icon for a democratic South Africa, died at the age of 95 following lung complications which had dogged him since his time as a prisoner on Robben Island.

In celebration of the life of the global icon, we have put together a list of some of his finest moments which have been uploaded to YouTube.

1. First interview — 1961

This interview, by the Britain’s ITN was the first Mandela had given to a television journalist. It came at a time when he was still in hiding from the police and saw him layout both his and the ANC’s position clearly and eloquently.

2. Treason trial speech — 1961

While not a video recording, the 1961 treason trial is where much of the world was introduced to Nelson Mandela as a formidable political force and orator.

3. Release from prison — 1990

These were the first images of Nelson Mandela to be released to the outside world since incarceration 27 years earlier. He walked out the gates of the Victor Verster prison outside Cape Town, before driving through the centre of Cape Town, where he made his first speech as a free man.

4. First speech following release — 1990

Made shortly after his release from prison, this speech called on white South Africans to join the freedom movement, assuring them inclusion in the South Africa which was to emerge in the next few years. Interestingly, Mandela had forgotten his glasses and was forced to use his wife Winnie’s.

5. Presidential inauguration — 1994

When Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa’s first black president in 1994, many still feared that the country would descend into chaos. This speech, with its famous line — “never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another” — went a long way to allaying those fears.

6. Madiba lifts the Rugby World Cup — 1995

It seems such an unlikely story that Hollywood turned it into a movie. A team of resolute underdogs, playing a sport once associated with the country’s white oppressors, managed to win the hearts of the whole nation and the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Mandela was there throughout the tournament and many attributed the team’s win to his presence, something which came to be known as “Madiba Magic”. His handing over of the William Webb Ellis trophy to captain Francois Pienaar is something that few who know the story can watch without a tear forming in the eye.

7. Joining Johnny Clegg on stage — 1999

The Johnny Clegg song “Asimbonanga” was written about Nelson Mandela in 1986, imagining what life was like for the statesman in his Robben Island prison cell. In 1999, Mandela joined Clegg on stage during a performance of the song, performing his characteristic “Madiba shuffle” and delighting everyone in the audience.

8. Make poverty history speech — 2004

Despite the fact that he had already retired from public life, Mandela was impassioned enough by the cause of “Make Poverty History” to make this speech in 2004. In it, he argues that that poverty destroys people’s fundamental right to human dignity and calls upon those countries with means to help poorer nations escape the cycle of poverty.

9. Retirement — 2006

Nelson Mandela retired a number of times during his later years, first from office and then from public engagements in general. In this video, made at the age of 89, he speaks about the handover of his work to the three organisations which he started, namely, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and the Mandela Rhodes Foundation.



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