The family of Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa, are selling the personal belongings of the anti-apartheid leader to pay for a memorial garden built in his honor. Gifts from former US President Barack Obama and other heads of state, as well as Mandela’s glasses, briefcases and pants, are also sold to finance the Nelson Mandela Freedom Garden in Qunu, South Africa, where the leader is buried.
There are the colorfully patterned Madiba shirts he wore during her meeting with Queen Elizabeth of England in 1998 and 2003 among the nearly 100 pieces of clothing to be auctioned.
Arlan Ettinger, president of New York-based auction house Guernsey’s, stated the shirts, which will be sold at a live and online auction on December 11th, “add joy to the great leader” and set him apart from other politicians.
Makaziwe Mandela expressed that he wanted to create tourism in the Eastern Cape, where his father was born, and that he felt responsible for this to happen. It was stated that the ten shirts that will be sold at the auction will be displayed for three weeks at the New York Fashion Institute of Technology museum “to educate and inspire visitors and students”.
Madiba shirts, named after Mandela’s Xhosa clan, are similar to the baggy tie-dye shirts worn in Indonesia and Malaysia. He was given one as a gift by former Indonesian President Suharto in 1990.
Among the items to be auctioned is a four-page letter Mandela wrote while imprisoned on Robben Island in 1976.