A photo exhibition in honour of Nelson Mandela was held in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos by three United Nations agencies and the South African Consulate General.
The exhibition titled, ‘Life and Times of Nelson Mandela’ was held at the front lobby of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island, Lagos, and was curated by one of its Deputy Directors, Mrs Pamela Mamah.
It was opened by the head of the South African Consulate in Lagos, Mr Darkey Africa, and touched on Mandela’s early childhood, the period of the struggle, his incarceration, his release from prison and his ascendancy to the presidency of South Africa.
Over 60 exhibits of photographs and newspaper cuttings were on display. Similarly, two short films were screened to the admiration of the audience. They were ‘Nelson Mandela’s Life Story’ and ‘Nelson Mandela: Carrying On His Legacy’.
The photo exhibition was however part of a programme that included a symposium and a film screening celebrating the life and values of South Africa’s first black president, Nelson Mandela.
The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Lagos; the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA); the South African Consulate General and the United Nations Association of Nigeria (UNAN) organized the event as part of activities marking the 2016 Nelson Mandela International Day in Nigeria.
Over 150 participants comprising of representatives of Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), the media as well as university and high school students were conducted around the exhibitions; and were later treated to instructive presentations on the values and lessons from Mandela’s leadership.
The symposium was chaired by a former Ambassador of Nigeria to Ethiopia, Olusegun Akinsanya, and featured four key presentations: International Terrorism and Maintenance of Global Peace by Prof Charles Dokubo; Nelson Mandela as a ‘Great Personality of Peace’: Lessons in Leadership for Global Peace and Security by Mr Sunday Olubejide; Awareness and Prevention of HIV/ AIDS: The Role of International Personalities by Dr Chinwe Nwanna.
There were also presentations on ‘Students and Maintenance of International Peace and Security by a student each from Leads University, Ibadan, Oyo State, Lagos State University, and the University of Lagos.
July 18 every year was declared by the UN General Assembly in November 2009, as the ‘Nelson Mandela International Day’ in recognition of his contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.
Whilst the General Assembly resolution of 2009 recognizes Nelson Mandela’s values and his dedication to the service of humanity; the UNGA resolution of 2015 on the Nelson Mandela Rules extends the scope of Nelson Mandela International Day to also promote humane conditions of imprisonment, to raise awareness about prisoners being a continuous part of society and to value the work of prison staff as a social service of particular importance.
Photo credit: @abinibi of Abinibi Art