Media Release: #MandelaLWTF – The Journey continues with a social media first

Date of Release: 26 November 2013

Join the conversation and live Tata’s Legacy

With the long-awaited release of the autobiographical movie – Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom – on 28th November 2013, Gareth Cliff with #HandsAcrossSA, together with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Ster Kinekor, are encouraging everyone in South Africa, and indeed the world, to see the movie and join in the conversation.
To this end, the first social media hub in South Africa has been developed. To accompany each and every screening of the movie, the movie public are urged to hashtag #MandelaLWTF and engage across the board in the spirit of true dialogue.

Thanks to the marvels of modern communication, every tweet, Facebook update and Instagram post using the hashtag #MandelaLWTF will be collected in a social media hub on where everyone can be part of the discussion and inspire a global movement.

“This campaign is about living the legacy. Allowing dialogue to flourish and creating a springboard for positive engagement and change,” says Sello Hatang, Chief Executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. “The making of the movie Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom has been a long and intense journey. I have had the privilege of viewing the film and the ending is a powerful call to action for what we need to do as South Africans and indeed the world. What this represents and signals is the handing-over of the baton of leadership. Madiba said: “It is time for new hands to lift the burdens. It is in your hands now”.

Nelson Mandela International Day 2013 celebrated on Madiba’s birthday on 18th July, saw the launch of Hands Across South Africa (#HandsAcrossSA) when Gareth Cliff, 5FM Breakfast Show host and Idols judge, invited everyone to join hands at 8.45 for 67 seconds as a gesture of unity and commitment to making our country a better place. This became the top trending topic on Twitter with photos being posted from across South Africa. “It may not seem like much, but a simple, symbolic action can manifest very powerful consequences and feelings. At very least they can be the beginning of something that can (in the modern lingo) ‘go viral’ and start a movement” Gareth said. “This social media hub for #MandelaLWTF will become a living archive of people’s thoughts, interactions and photographs.”

Says Doug Place, Marketing Executive of Ster-Kinekor Theatres: “Ster-Kinekor is extremely proud to be associated with the much-anticipated biopic, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, and we are aware of the growing excitement and talkability that is building around the film’s release this Thursday. This partnership with Gareth Cliff and the Nelson Mandela Foundation is a wonderful initiative to get South Africans sharing their thoughts and feelings – using the #MandelaLWTF – about a local film that honours a true global icon revered the world over.”

The social media hub was developed with Zoomph in Washington DC. “Working on the Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom project has been an incredible experience,” said Ali R. Manouchehri, CEO of Zoomph. “Zoomph Social Hubs centralize and organize inspiring social media content in a way that engages and connects social media users around the world. And in this case, our visualizations have sparked conversations that are key to both remembering a critical piece of history, and bringing people together to communicate as an evolving culture”.

Nelson Mandela’s legacy has created the opportunity for our nation and indeed the world to achieve a common future. To this end, active discourse is key. Discourse and active engagement is fundamental to the legacy of Madiba and to South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy. He based his entire life on this principle and on the art of listening and speaking to others; it is also the art of getting others to listen and speak to each other. It is a vital instrument for addressing critical social issues and the most effective vehicle for sharing memory, for growing it, and for engaging it in the promotion of social justice.

“Nothing brings more pride and satisfaction to the old guard than to know that the ideas for which they have sacrificed so much are coming to fruition at last”. – Nelson Mandela

For more information:

Danielle Melville – Nelson Mandela Foundation

Rina Broomberg – Hands Across SA

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