The death of Nelson Mandela had been anticipated for at least a year, as his body began to fail him after long years of service. At the age of 95, he finally accepted the invitation to rest.
There are numerous opportunities to explore the life of one of the most important and impactful men of the last 100 years. His sacrifice as well as his understanding of human nature led to the freedom of a people and set an example admired around the world. Below is just a few of the countless introductions to the world of Nelson Mandela.
Mandela started writing his autobiography while serving 27 years in prison and completed it following his release. While he has expressed dissatisfaction with the end result, it remains a valuable and moving document.
This memoir of sorts, published in 2010, is Madiba's answer to the autobiography that he felt was too polite, too 'smooth' to be an accurate representation of the man and his times. 'Conversations with Myself' offers journals, diary entries, and pieces of transcripts from over 50 hours of an abandoned autobiography. This is probably as close to the man, minus the iconography, as is possible to get.
An award winning biography television series from Canada, 'Life & Times' is available for rent from Amazon Prime.
In addition to a comprehensive biography, 'Mandela: The Authorized Portrait' offers incredible photos from an amazing life, as well thoughts from people whose lives Mandela touched, ranging from Desmond Tutu to Bill Clinton and many more.
A collection of speeches assembled by theme, introduced by a notable expert on the topic of discussion.
An excellent compilation of music inspired by and about Nelson Mandela, from NPR.
There have been several films focusing on various aspects of Mandela's life. Here are two of the best:
Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom, currently in release, stars Idris Elba and Naomi Harris in two of the year's best performances. 'Mandela' takes a broad view at Madiba's life and suffers from the typical biopic problem of trying to cram an entire life into 2 1/2 hours. But it is well done and Elba is riveting.
'Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom' trailer-
Invictus, directed by Clint Eastwood, starring a pitch perfect Morgan Freeman as Madiba, tells the story of Mandela's canny use of the national rugby team to unite a divided country in 1995.
This just scratches the surface of the man who Morgan Freeman called, 'one of the greatest men who ever lived'.
The outpouring of love, admiration and adoration since his death started long before his passing. Never comfortable with the praise and almost religious fervor, Mandela said, 'I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying'.
* 'Madiba' is Nelson Mandela's clan name, and also is a term meant to describe older men. 'Enkosi', roughly translated from his native tongue of Xhosa, means 'thank you'.