The iMadiba sculptures are the creative brainchild of Stellenbosch artist and portrait photographer Erhardt Thiel. His vision is to take the world’s smallest museum, one of his carefully constructed structural conversational pits, and turn it into the world’s largest museum by ensuring that the legacy and voice of what the late Nelson Mandela stood for is spread around the globe by placing a sculpture in as many locations as possible.
The sculptures are built to the exact dimensions of the jail cell which Mandela occupied on Robben Island for most of the 27 years of his incarceration. Despite the confining space and inhumane conditions in which he found himself, he still managed to spread peace and reconciliation around the world.
Thiel’s vision is to honour Mandela’s legacy by reproducing the iMadiba sculpture in as many global locations as is possible. He views these conversational sculptures as more of a “listener’s corner” rather than a “speaker’s corner” where people from all walks of life can get to know and understand each other in the spirit of tolerance and acceptance.
The first sculpture can be found at Thiel’s alma mater, the University of Stellenbosch next to the SU museum with a further two at Paul Roos Gimnasium and Jan Marais Park. Thiel used these sculptures, together with a similar one which was burnt in the Tankwa Karoo at Afrikaburn, to test the final design. The next sculptures were built at Mthatha and Qunu in the Eastern Cape. Satrix is the first corporate to sponsor a sculpture which has been built at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Further sculptures can be viewed at the V&A Waterfront, the Iziko National Gallery in Cape Town and in the grounds of St. Stithians College in Johannesburg.
With support from the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Thiel hopes to erect at least 100 sculptures in total throughout 2018, the year in which Madiba's hundredth birthday is commemorated.
To the untrained eye, an investment company is a world away from Robben Island and the plains of Qunu, but it’s the principles and the manner in which Mandela brought about change wanting freedom and equality for all which allows companies like Satrix to operate in South Africa today. With this in mind, it is in service to ‘access for all’ and ‘financial inclusion’ - maxims at the heart of the Satrix business, that we are proud to sponsor and support Erhardt Thiel and The Nelson Mandela Foundation on their journey to roll out the iMadiba sculptures as far as possible.
It is the spirit of listening and tolerance which have enabled Satrix to become the People’s Brand spreading the news that investing is for all and that everyone can invest. As the first corporate sponsor of an iMadiba sculpture we are pleased to have secured space at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange to erect a sculpture. To us as a business this represents an opportunity to continue the conversation of financial inclusion and access to all at the very heart of the financial system. We’d like to start a conversation here so that everyone knows that they too can OWN THE MARKET.
POSTED : 10 JULY 2018