ZIO MWALE, Lusaka
AS A way of celebrating one hundred years since the birth of Nelson Mandela, DStv on Wednesday introduced a unique “Mandela 100 Tribute” pop-up channel to all its customers across Africa.The tribute, available on Channel 199, will run until Sunday.
The channel is featuring an exceptional mix of films, documentaries, archive footage from M-Net’s multiple award-winning actuality programme “Carte Blanche” as well as exclusive celebrity interviews.
“Around the globe, Nelson Mandela is revered as a hero of the struggle and as the man who led South Africa to democracy,” MultiChoice general entertainment chief executive officer Yolisa Phahle said.
“While striving for justice and freedom and shaping a nation, he also changed the world with his humility and indomitable spirit. We are immensely proud to dedicate a unique pop-up channel to celebrate the life and legacy of this beacon of selflessness and reconciliation, who gave hope to millions.”
The channel, which was compiled for DStv by M-Net, is packed with programmes that paint a powerful picture of what it meant to be Madiba – and what Madiba has meant to the world.
DStv viewers across the continent have since Wednesday been tuning in for a new director’s cut, in the form of a four-part miniseries, of the landmark film “The Long Walk to Freedom” (2013), based on Mandela’s autobiography which focuses on his early life and 27 years in prison, and stars Idris Elba.
A statement made available to the Weekend Mail by MultiChoice says the “Mandela 100 Tribute” builds up to a heart-stopping climax on the final evening with “Invictus” the 2009 Hollywood blockbuster directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela and Matt Damon as Springbok rugby captain Francois Pienaar.
“It is the true- to-life depiction of South Africa’s victory at the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Madiba famously walked on to the Ellis Park turf in the No 6 jersey, usually worn by Pienaar, to thunderous applause before the match – a stroke of genius that spurred the Springboks on to glory,” the statement reads.
Other highlights include “The Face of Unity”, a documentary with previously unscreened footage and tributes from former US President Barack Obama; golf legend Jack Nicklaus; musical genius Ray Charles, and Hollywood luminaries Samuel L Jackson and George Lucas.
There is also “In the Name of Mandela, War and Peace”- a summary of the political history of South Africa from the time of the discovery of gold in 1886 up to the election of Nelson Mandela as President in 1994; and “Mandela’s Unsung Heroes”, an account of the Rivonia trial in which some of Nelson Mandela’s fellow accused in the trial, that led to his incarceration on Robben Island, share their memories.
ZIO MWALE, Lusaka