A six part miniseries based on the life of Nelson Mandela is in the works from South Africa’s Out of Africa Entertainment, the UKs Left Bank Pictures and Canada’s Blue Ice Films.
Producers on the series include Out of Africa principal Kweku Mandela, a grandson of the renowned African leader. Scribe Nigel Williams, whose credits include the Helen Mirren mini-series “Elizabeth I,” is penning the scripts for the project.
The working title is “Madiba,” the tribal clan name by which Nelson Mandela is often referred to in his native country. Two of Nelson Mandela’s books will be used as source material – the memoir Conversations With Myself and a compendium of quotations, Nelson Mandela By Himself.
Kweku Mandela said the aim is to tell the story of the people and events that led his grandfather to play a historic role in toppling apartheid and becoming South Africa’s first black president. Although there have been numerous Mandela-related documentaries in recent years, Kweku Mandela wants to portray his grandfather as a person, beyond his political and human rights achievements. “I felt if we were going to do this, it was important to put the focus on the man,” Mandela said.
“That’s why in the research for this, it’s important that we get as close to his thoughts as we can. The people who helped guide him and shape him as a person will be strong characters.”
Kweku Mandela, who is 26, sees the mini as a way of ensuring that younger generations understand the history of apartheid. Casting for the Mandela series has yet to be announced.