Nelson Mandela’s daughter and granddaughter have been in Liverpool to unveil a memorial in honour of the late South African president. The artwork, located on an island in Princes Park, Toxteth, includes a pavilion and 32 cylindrical pillars for seating, each inscribed with inspirational Mandela quotes. A new ‘Freedom Bridge’ is being built to connect the island to the rest of the grade II listed park across its lake.
The memorial bridge and classroom was an idea formed almost 10 years ago following the death of Nelson Mandela in December 2013.
Mandela’s daughter, Dr Makaziwe Mandela, and granddaughter, Mrs Tukwini Mandela, flew into to Liverpool to cut the ribbon at the civic unveiling event, which was attended by hundreds of people, including Catholic school children and local politicians.
The Mandela’s thanked everyone for their attendance, talked about principles Mandela stood and fought for before being presented with a gift from pupils of All Saints Catholic Primary School.
The gift, a knitted sunflower, was presented by Francisca Goncalves Braz, and it had been handmade by her mum, Tania Soares. The message on it read: “We have made this sunflower to present to you because sunflowers symbolise unwavering and unconditional love. They are bright, sunny and positive, like your late father.”
Mandela’s granddaughter, Tukwini, told the Liverpool Echo: “I think my grandfather would have been really touched to see something like this happen because what you have here is people from all races and from all walks of life. It’s important for us to unite in humanity if we really want to fight social injustice.
“That’s what he was fighting for as he always said he was not just fighting for the liberation of just yourself and your own people, you’re fighting for the liberation of others as well”.
Mandela’s daughter, Dr Makaziwere, then cut the ribbon and officially opened the memorial. The Mandelas then viewed the classroom of the 32 inscribed stones.
Mandela8 founder Stephen Nze said: “For me and the community it’s something we’ve achieved together. It’s 10
Ward councillor for Princes Park, Lucille Harvey said: “As a person of colour growing up in Liverpool 8, Nelson Mandela and the fight against apartheid was a source of inspiration and hope. I’m delighted we’ll have a permanent memorial in L8 to inspire and encourage our community for generations”.
Tukwini continued: “This fight for social justice is an international global one. It did not start with him and it won’t end with him.
“We just have to make sure that if you want to honour his legacy that we take that fight forward and hopefully in the near future we won’t have to fight as hard”.
Story by William Kelly, The Catholic Network