The Mandela Opus – The big story of a big man in a big book.


Sello Hatang, Makaziwe Mandela, Graça Machel, George Rautenbach, Minister Lindiwe Sisulu,Ndaba Mandela and Lyndon Barends unveil the Mandela Opus at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory.

At 37kg, 850 pages,over 2000 images,and half a meter square big, the definitive book on Nelson Mandela’s life will ensure that the anti-apartheid icon’s legacy is never forgotten.

Speaking at the launch of the book in Johannesburg, Public Services Minister Ms Lindiwe Sisulu, daughter of the late Walter Sisulu, the anti-apartheid activist and African National Congress leader, said: “I want to pledge to all of you that i will fight to ensure that our history is made a compulsory subject in our schools, so that our children understand who we are, what we went through and where we come from.”

The Official Nelson Mandela Opus features an extended report on Mandela`s education,focusing specifically on his school days at Clarkebury Mission Institute,Healdtown Institute and Fort Hare University College.Unprecedented access to archive material from family and friends, exclusive imagery and work from world renowned photographers and writers, allows Opus to truly honour Nelson Mandela the friend, the father, the husband, the activist, the President. The Opus tells this story in a depth and on a scale that has never been seen before, immortalizing Nelson Mandela’s life.

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Nelson Mandela,top centre, in a group photo taken at Healdtown School in 1938.

Ms Sisulu called for the book to become an essential part of the South African schools curriculum, adding: “I would like the Mandela Opus to be the first book that they learn in schools as a compulsory work. We as South Africans remain eternally grateful to Nelson Mandela.”

Mr Mandela’s grandson Ndaba Mandela said: “We are excited about the Mandela Opus which is another way of taking Tata’s legacy to people all over the world. There can never be enough ways of telling his story.”

The Mandela Opus will feature specially written contributions by international figures such as Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, Pope Francis I, Sir Richard Branson and a personal account by long-time friend and fellow Nobel Peace Prize recipient Archbishop Desmond Tutu on his memories of Mr Mandela, known affectionately as ‘Madiba’.

Former Cape Times editor and author of the book ‘Race’, Ryland Fisher is the editor of the book,and his team, along with photographer Benny Gool,went through more than 20 000 photographs and whittled them down to 2,000.

Karl Fowler, chief executive of Opus Media, said: “It is an absolute privilege and honour to be invited to create an opus on one of the world’s greatest icons, global statesman, and former South African President, Nelson Mandela.

Opus CEO Karl Fowler with Graça Machel at the Nelson Mandela Opus book launch at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory.

“Mr Mandela’s story is one that touches the hearts and minds of many generations across the globe and we hope that the official Mandela Opus will make a valuable and unique contribution to his legacy and help educate and inspire people from all cultures around the world.”

In total 10,000 of the books will be published. The Mandela book follows other Opus books on subjects including Formula One, Ferrari, Manchester United, Michael Jackson, Sachin Tendulkar and the Springboks.
Opus Media CEO Karl Fowler said half the material in the book, had not been seen before.“An opus is about telling iconic and great stories, and hopefully telling the stories that have never been told before by using great photography.”

He said the Nelson Mandela Opus was the biggest the company had made and that each book was hand-stitched.

“This story has to be told, it must be told,” Fowler said.

The book will be available for sale from December 2015.

The book will be available for sale from December 2015. For more info visit:


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