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Film producer Anant Singh pens heartfelt tribute to Zindzi Mandela

South African film producer, Anant Singh penned a heartfelt message to the late Zindzi Mandela, who passed on Sunday, July 12. Mandela served as South Africa’s ambassador to Denmark from 2015. Circumstances surrounding her death have not been revealed yet. 

The “Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom” producer said Mandela was a friend, a sister, an activist and a mentor. “She was her mother’s daughter, a firebrand who was not afraid to take on the apartheid regime when both Madiba and Winnie were either incarcerated or unable to speak for themselves. Another fearless, shining light of the Mandela Family has left us. We will miss her love, her dignity, her humanity and her care for all those around her,” said Singh. 

He said Mandela will always remain a special friend to him as the two worked hand in hand after he was awarded the film rights to “Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom”.  

“Zindzi was inspiration, especially having had her alongside from early on when the plans for the film began to formulate while Madiba was in prison, to being awarded the film rights to “Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom”. She was always accessible and generous with advice. She, Winnie and Zenani were the first people I spoke to about the idea of Idris Elba playing Madiba, they loved the choice,” shared Singh.   

He continued saying that on the journey of the roll out of the film Mandela was alongside him and his team who attended the world premiere in Johannesburg. 

The White House screening for former President Barack Obama, the premieres in New York, Los Angeles, co-hosted by Quincy Jones, Cannes and the Royal Film Performance in London which took place on the night of Tata Madiba’s passing.

“Not only was she a daughter, sister, mother, grandmother and wife, she was also a deep thinker, a diplomat and poet. She had shared poems with me. In 1978 at 18, she published the anthology, ‘Black As I Am’, which was profound. One of the poems in this collection, “A Tree Was Chopped Down” is especially appropriate today.” he said.  

Singh said South Africa has lost a young giant, who has left a huge void in our lives. 

“Our love and prayers go to the entire Mandela family, Zenani, Zoleka, Zondwa, Bambatha, Zwelabo and Molapo. Viva sis Zindzi! Viva!,”he said. 

Read the “A Tree Was Chopped Down” poem below: 

“A tree was chopped down

and the fruit was scattered

I cried

because I had lost a family

the trunk, my father

the branches, his support

so much

the fruit, the wife and children

who meant so much to him

tasty

loving as they should be

all on the ground

some out of his reach

in the ground

the roots, happiness

cut off from him.

Source – IOL

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