Johannesburg, Feb 11 (PTI) Indian-origin South African filmmaker Anant Singh has credited his special bond with Nelson Mandela for inspiring him to tell socially relevant stories.
South Africa gears to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Mandela's release from prison after spending 27 years as a political prisoner.
He was eventually released on February 11, 1990 to negotiate South Africa's peaceful transition to democracy from decades of white minority rule.
'This date will be remembered as one of the most significant days in the history of the world – a watershed event that changed South Africa forever. Madiba’s release from prison set our nation on the course of liberation and culminated in the first democratic elections four years later,' Singh, who has produced two short films to be screened at the celebrations in Cape Town, said.
Recounting his meeting with Mandela, Singh said, 'I met Madiba two weeks after his release in Durban, where I spent an exceptional hour with him. His gentle, caring and modest nature struck me. It is still the most momentous engagement I have ever had.' The relationship would develop into a personal one that would see Mandela grant Singh the coveted rights to film Mandela’s book ‘Long Walk to Freedom’, which won numerous local and international awards.
“My career in the film industry was catalysed by the call Madiba (a term of endearment given to Mandela by the country people) and the ANC made in the 1980’s for people to speak out against apartheid.
“Heeding that call, I made 'A Place of Weeping', the first anti-apartheid film made in South Africa, which we did while being on the run from the security police... I have tried to tell important South African stories that are socially relevant.' PTI FH BK BK