Madiba

Mercedes-Benz SA contributes to the celebration

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Culturally, in the 21st century, a true sign of having left a mark on the world is not only that your story makes international media headlines, but that the great cinematic machine captures your life in the form of a movie. This is the latest honour bestowed on South Africa’s greatest icon, Nelson Mandela. The South African premiere of the movie based on his autobiographical book, Long Walk to Freedom, took place in Rosebank, Johannesburg today.

The film, starring a host of international and local actors, received critical acclaim at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.

Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) is proud to have been selected as the official vehicle sponsor for the South African premiere of the film. A selection of 14 premium luxury vehicles will be on hand to transport the cast and VIP guests attending the premiere, adding a touch of glamour to the proceedings. A variety of the brand’s products also feature in the movie.

The company’s long association with Mandela is based on a shared value system of integrity, as well as passion and dedication to purpose. MBSA heeded the call by Mandela, following his election as the country’s first democratic president, for corporate South Africa to support nation building by creating a school in rural Eastern Cape, as well as a community centre in Kwa Zulu Natal.

Even prior to these aligned community upliftment projects, workers at the MBSA production plant in East London, with the full support of company management, took the initiative to build a red Mercedes-Benz S-Class for Mandela, following his release from prison in 1990. Inspired by his legacy as a freedom fighter, workers sought a way to pay tribute to the change that Mandela had brought to the lives of ordinary South Africans through his selfless campaign against apartheid.

“It is indeed this concept of paying tribute to individuals like Tata Mandela, who have fulfilled their passion in selfless service to their country, that also inspired the company to become involved in the 21 Icons project,” says MBSA corporate affairs divisional manager, Mayur Bhana. Mandela is one of the 21 iconic South Africans whose lives are celebrated by the project, which aims to motivate a younger generation to follow in the footsteps of these role models by building a spirit of optimism and inspiring them to conduct their lives as productive members of society, driving positive growth in the country.”

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