Nelson Mandela’s eldest daughter will visit Liverpool next year when work is set to start on a tribute to the revolutionary icon.
Dr Makaziwe ‘Maki’ Mandela will be joined by the former president’s granddaughter Tukwini Mandela to give her seal of approval to a permanent memorial in Princes Park.
The Mandela8 installation will reflect Nelson’s life, his love of gardens and horticulture, his teaching and passion for equality and humanity.
Dr Makaziwe and Tukwini will visit the Toxteth green space on 11 February 2019 as part of a three-day stopover which will also see the family members call on a number of community projects.
The pair will also take part in a special civic reception hosted by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool Christine Banks, and a fundraising event hosted by the TUC, which will see proceeds go towards the development of the memorial.
Dr Makaziwe says: “I am delighted to be invited to the city of Liverpool, a city which honoured my father with the freedom of the city in 1994, a city whose links with South Africa are longstanding and whose communities have stood alongside South Africa, fighting injustice and anti-apartheid.
“Most importantly the visit will mark the 29 year anniversary of my father’s release from prison.
“We look forward to meeting those involved in supporting South Africa’s struggle against apartheid, and continuing our dialogue about educational opportunity.”
Lynn Collins, chair of the Mandela8 group, adds: “Our city has such a strong connection and history with the campaign to free Mandela, a campaign which brought community activists and trades unionists together with one voice.
“This visit is a chance for us to show Madiba’s family the solidarity and support of our city, to ensure the legacy, values and ideals of their loved one are formally marked here, and to begin the work to build our ongoing educational programme with their support and guidance.
“At a time when our city has been regularly called on to show its opposition to racism, fascism and xenophobia in all its forms, the visit and chance to celebrate the life of Mandela couldn’t be more appropriate in uniting us all.”
The Mandela8 group also aims to reinstate a bridge link in the Grade II*-listed park which would link the mainland to the lake island. Meanwhile the area around the memorial will provide space for learning, events and reflection.
Plans are in place to integrate some of Madiba’s iconic words into the artwork, in a way which communicates his messages and relevance to Toxteth and wider community today.