THE life of Nelson Mandela is to be the subject of a $20m (£13m) TV mini-series spanning six decades and the momentous events leading to his election as South Africa’s first black president after 27 years in jail. Mandela, now 93, has given his approval for the six-hour drama, which is due to go into production later this year, shooting primarily on location in South Africa.
Casting is still being finalised. Mandela has previously been played on screen by Morgan Freeman in Clint Eastwood’s 2009 film Invictus. The producers are in talks with broadcasters in the UK and US about the project. The scripts are based on two books optioned by the producers, the autobiographical Conversations with Myself and Nelson Mandela By Himself, which features authorised quotations. The programme-makers have also been given access to the archives of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. Entitled Madiba, the clan name from the Xhosa tribe by which Mandela has often been known, the mini-series is being co-produced by his grandson, Kweku Mandela, and the UK film-makers who were behind The Queen and The Damned United. Kweku Mandela said Madiba would not just be another project painting his grandfather as “Mandela the saint”, but would seek to credit the many people who helped shape his life story. –Guardian