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A new mural of Nelson Mandela in Bristol commemorates 30 years of “Freedom Day” in South Africa, uniting communities in celebration and reflection.


Bristol, United Kingdom (03 May 2024) – A new mural depicting Nelson Mandela has been unveiled in Bristol, commemorating 30 years since the end of apartheid in South Africa.

Situated in the vibrant city of Bristol, known for its rich maritime heritage, the mural symbolises freedom and unity.

The striking artwork, measuring 8 x 4 feet, was brought to life by talented artist Nick Halahan. Completed on April 27, also recognised as ‘Freedom Day’ in South Africa, the unveiling coincided with celebrations organised by Sisanda Myataza, the lead curator, who orchestrated a “Freedom Day Bloc Party” to mark the occasion.

“The Freedom Day Bloc Party is about bringing people together from all walks of life and focusing on things that bring us together rather than things that pull us apart,” remarked Sisanda, emphasising the event’s inclusive spirit.

Halahan’s dedication to capturing Mandela’s spirit shines through in the mural, embodying the former president’s values of grace, forgiveness, and resilience.

“I’m so proud that people in Bristol and across the globe still recognise Mandela as the iconic role model that he was,” expressed Sisanda, reflecting on the significance of Mandela’s enduring legacy.

For the first time in Bristol, members of the South African community came together to celebrate Freedom Day, embracing their heritage through traditional cuisine and cultural festivities. The aroma of South African delicacies like Chakalaka, Samp and Beans, and boerewors filled the air, evoking a sense of nostalgia and belonging among attendees.

“It was incredible to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Freedom Day here in Bristol,” shared one attendee, highlighting the event’s significance in honouring South Africa’s journey towards democracy.

The screening of the once-banned South African crime film, Mapantsula, added depth to the commemoration, offering a poignant reminder of the struggles endured during apartheid.

The mural at the Pickle Factory in Easton serves as a permanent reminder of Mandela’s enduring legacy and the ongoing fight for freedom and equality.

As we reflect on 30 years of “Freedom Day” in South Africa, may Mandela’s spirit continue to guide us (around the globe) towards a brighter, more inclusive future for all.

Proudly SA: New Nelson Mandela Mural Unveiled in Bristol, UK
A mural of Nelson Mandela painted by artist Nick Halahan, known as Olas Art, on plywood | Photo Cred: Olas Art

Sources: Bristol Live | BBC 
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Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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