Idris Elba, who plays Nelson Mandela in the film adaptation of Long Walk To Freedom took some time off from shooting today to convey his birthday greetings to Madiba.
Speaking from Cape Town, Elba said, “Mr Mandela, Happy birthday ! My name is Idris Elba and I get the privilege of playing you in this movie. Your life is amazing, has been amazing and continues to be. It’s a complete honour for me to represent you and I hope I do a great job. My parents are from West Africa – Sierra Leone and Ghana. My dad was very, very close to your story. He always talked about Mr Mandela in our house and so when I told him I was playing you in this movie he nearly burst into tears. So we want to thank you, from my family to yours, and I want to wish you a Happy Birthday ! May you have many more.”
The set of the film was quite festive today, with the entire team observing Mandela Day and wearing the official Mandela Day t-shirts, paying tribute to the icon whose lifestory they are capturing on film.
Earlier this week, producer of Long Walk To Freedom, Anant Singh announced that the 500 strong creative and technical team behind the film have also committed themselves to support the Mandela Day initiative with individual activities for the 67 minutes. This will form part of the Mandela Day Campaign with activities that go beyond Madiba’s birthday, making every day a ‘Mandela Day’.
About Long Walk To Freedom
Anant Singh was awarded the coveted film rights to the international best-selling autobiography by Mr Mandela himself 15 years ago. The film stars Idris Elba and Atandwe Kani (Mandela), Tony Kgoroge (Walter Sisulu), Riaad Moosa (Ahmed Kathrada), Zolani Mkiva (Raymond Mhlaba), Simo Magwaza (Andrew Mlangeni), Fana Mokoena (Govan Mbeki) and Thapelo Mokoena (Elias Motsoaledi), Naomie Harris, Lindiwe Matshikiza and Terry Pheto.
The film started principle photography in KwaZulu Natal at the end of May and is currently shooting in Cape Town, whereafter the production will move to Johannesburg, the Eastern Cape and then back to KwaZulu Natal.