thanks for the colour

95 portraits for a 95th birthday

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Salli van Druten 


Born: Twickenham, England - Lives: Johannesburg, South Africa 

Age: 47 

Occupation: Artist 


I'd like to thank Nelson Mandela for the colour because… 

growing up in Apartheid South Africa, everything was about Black and White. For too many years this limited palette determined: where we lived; who we could marry; which beaches we could visit; which buses we could catch; which hospitals would accept us; which schools and universities we could attend. When you were freed and ensured our peaceful transformation from Apartheid to Democracy, colour exploded into our lives. We could eventually live within a palette that was alive with the brightest colours.

 

Sam van Druten

 

Born and Lives: Johannesburg, South Africa 

Age: 13 

Occupation: Scholar

 

I'd like to thank Nelson Mandela for the colour because… 

you made this country so awesome. I'm too young to have experienced Apartheid and I'm glad that I now live in a country where who you are, is not about what colour you are. 

 

Samantha Holly Ryder-Nimb 


Born: Chertsey, England - Lives: Johannesburg, South Africa 

Age: 43 

Occupation: Educator and Counsellor 


I'd like to thank Nelson Mandela for the colour because… 

you made it possible for me to teach beautiful children of all races, cultures and ethnic backgrounds. You made me believe in the possibility to forgive even my worst enemy.

 

Sas Wagner 


Born and Lives: Johannesburg, South Africa 

Age: 15 

Occupation: Scholar 


I'd like to thank Nelson Mandela for the colour because… 

without your leadership my life would have been completely different. I have you to thank for my wonderful life and all my friends of different races. 

 

Sean Cullen

 

Born: Pequannock, NJ, USA - Lives: Lincoln Park, NJ, USA 

Age: 26 

Occupation: Ph.D. Student in Leadership 


I'd like to thank Nelson Mandela for the colour because… 

you have shown how important speaking from the heart truly is. Showing that it doesn't take a messiah, but 'ordinary men (and women)' to rise to the occasion during extraordinary circumstances. Much love, Madiba. 

 

Shareen Harneker 


Lives: Last 15 years - London. Now - Cape Town 

Age: 47 

Occupation: Psychiatrist 


I'd like to thank Nelson Mandela for the colour because… 

you inspire me to contribute to social transformation, in the hope of a better life for all. 

 

Sofia Moroudia 


Born: Nicosia, Cyprus - Lives: Italy 

Age: 36 

Occupation: NGO Worker 


I'd like to thank Nelson Mandela for the colour because… 

in choosing to give your lifetime (and almost your life) for the respect of human rights, in choosing to prioritise this over being with your wife, being with your children, being with your friends, living an ordinary life, in choosing to do this not only did you chang lives for millions of people in South Africa but you gave the whole world a true beacon of hope, a beacon shining well ahead of its times. 

 

Sonja Gottlebe 


Born and Lives: Antananarivo – Madagascar 

Age: 45 

Occupation: Tour Operator 


I'd like to thank Nelson Mandela for the colour because… 

you're giving hope to all African countries who fight for development, against poverty and try to find their way to democracy.

 

Susan Eardley 


Born: Twickenham, England - Lives: Johannesburg, South Africa 

Age: 49 

Occupation: Insurance Broker 


I'd like to thank Nelson Mandela for the colour because… 

you are a daily inspiration as to how to live your life, looking to the future rather than to the past.

 

Syed Faisal Abbas 


Born and Lives: Islamabad, Pakistan 

Age: 36 

Occupation: Entrepreneur 


I'd like to thank Nelson Mandela for the colour because… 

my brothers were expats in RSA and returned home after 6 years. What you have done for expats is remarkable, also being a student of international relations I've read ""A Long Walk to Freedom"", inspirational. I wish we had a leader like Madiba here. 

 

Thandi Sothoane 


Born and Lives: Johannesburg, South Africa 

Age: 54 

Occupation: Domestic Worker 


I'd like to thank Nelson Mandela for the colour because… 

you brought all the people of our nation together. 

Happy Birthday O hole O kgokgobe Ntate Madiba. 


I hope you live to 120 years old. 

 

Tracey Gass 


Born: Springs, South Africa - Lives: Salt Lake City, UT, USA 

Age: 42 

Occupation: Hardworking mom and wife 


I'd like to thank Nelson Mandela for the colour because… 

you showed us the meaning of the word freedom. Your hard work and dedication has allowed us to move forward without ever looking back. You made our nation connect in so many ways and by following your example we are able to move onwards and slowly bring about change. I am so lucky to have lived during a time of an icon like you. You are an inspiration to so many people and for that we love you. Imini Emnandi Kuwe Tata... I wish you health, peace and happiness. 

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