The president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa has presented a life-size statue of former president and apartheid hero, Nelson Mandela to the United Nations on behalf of the government and the people of South Africa. It is understood that the statue will be located at the United Nations General Assembly Hall in New York.
According to the Presidency‚ it is the only life-size statue to have been erected at the United Nations. Speaking at the presentation to kick-start a high-level meeting – the Mandela Peace Summit at the UN – for world leaders to renew their commitment to global peace, conflict prevention, conflict resolution, peace building, promotion and protection of human rights and long-term development initiatives.
“At 1.9 metres tall‚ the Nelson Mandela Statue is the only life-size statue at the United Nations headquarters‚ signifying the role he played in unifying the world under the banner of peace and conflict resolution.
“The statue is modelled after the day Nelson Mandela delivered his first speech to the United Nations Special Committee on Apartheid on June 22 1990. He urged the United Nations to maintain sanctions against South Africa until apartheid was abolished.”
The statue was created by Andre Prinsloo and Andre Otto. Prinsloo‚ along with Ruhan Janse van Vuuren‚ also worked on the nine-metre bronze Mandela statue that towers over the gardens at the Union Buildings in Tshwane.
Reactions have tailed the unveiling from both home and abroad claiming that the statue for one looks nothing like Mandela, and secondly is far too expensive at $1.8 Million.
Below are only a few of the millions of comments on social media expressing dislike for the statue.
Ronald James @IamRonaldjames I'm sorry, but the statue does not look like Mandela.
Gugulethu Mhlungu ✔ @GugsM SA really convinced the UN that the statue we gifted them is of Mandela and not Robert De Niro.
VinnyC TicToc Treason💯 @NatL_Truth The Mandela statue unveiled at the UN in America had his hands up “ don’t shoot”
|M M A M A K W A| @ThatoAE 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂Guys even the First Lady can’t believe you call that thing Mandela’s statue!! She looks back at Bae like, bruh are you sure ka this thing? #UNGA2018 #Mandela100
Khaya Sithole @CoruscaKhaya Quick question - does that statue even look like Nelson Mandela?
Thabo @Thabo00670195 This is not nelson Mandela, with straight back hair, and goofy smile... This is humiliating our president... With should trumps statue with a blade haircut and a Zulu mastich
💎King👑Khupari💎 @ReincarnateCleoSo you're stating that Nelson Mandela relaxed his hair, gelled and combed it back during his 60s
fhatuwani @giggs_miamoreThat’s statue needs extra work that is not really RN Mandela🤔
Gretchen_ndou @gretchen_ndouThey said it's mandela's statue bt I zoomed it,it's not him😏😏
Call me Prince! @PrinceTjotjoDear United Nations, that's not the statue of Nelson Mandela. Please respect our #HeritageDay
Sanele Tshabalala @saneleb16Let's be honest and not play games here. This thing that is being unveiled here does not look like Nelson Mandela. The person who created this statue should be charged phela this thing is an insult to the man's legacy
Stress Free ™ @mzwoiteaIf that's Mandela then I never knew him...
[email protected]_PhashaYou probably need to write Mandela on the statue, because that dude does not look like Mandela bro.
However, for now, there is no indication that any changes will be made to the statue.
During the ceremony, Guterres said at the ceremony that Mandela “embodied the highest values of the United Nations — peace, forgiveness, compassion and human dignity.” Nelson Mandela’s widow challenged world leaders celebrating his life to put their egos and partisan politics aside, and honor his legacy by ending the “senseless violence” plaguing too much of the world.
Image Credit: The South African Presidency via Twitter