Stamps to celebrate Madiba's 100 years

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The German Post and the South African Post Office have joined forces to spread the Madiba magic.

The two institutions have a bilateral stamp issue on Wednesday, to commemorate the 100th birthday of the first former statesman and global icon Nelson Mandela.

The photograph for the SA stamp is from the Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) Blue Media archives and the stamp was designed by Rachel-Mari Ackermann of the SA Post Office.

The German stamp photo was taken by Paul Weinberg, a South African who was active in the anti-apartheid resistance movement. The stamp was designed by André Heers and Annette le Fort.

The images and “stories behind the stamps” on both stamp issues are quite different from each other. The format and sizes are also not the same, the SAPO said on Wednesday.

According to Ackermann, the NMF’s slogan for the Nelson Mandela Centenary 2018 celebrations: “Be the legacy”, influenced her decision to portray him at a late stage of his life as “He will forever be a ‘father’ to the South African nation and inspires us to invest in the future of our children”.

The warm colours reflect his personality; the gold lettering accentuates his status as a treasure of the country, said Ackermann.

The German stamp features a photo of a relatively young Nelson Mandela taken three days after his release from prison. It shows Nelson Mandela in profile, looking upwards into the light with an expression of relief.

“The image captures a range of emotions, mainly hope and faith. His strength and optimism are palpable. We think it is a beautiful image that aptly encapsulates Nelson Mandela’s life,” said André Heers and Annette le Fort.

They chose the colours of the flag of the democratic South Africa, for their symbolic meaning. “The vivid colours stand in sharp contrast to the stamp’s black-and-white background.”

Another interesting feature of the stamp is the bold font used, known as ‘Knockout’. It was selected as it evoked feelings of warmth and also comes in Featherweight, Middleweight, Heavyweight, among others.

The terms are used in boxing and Nelson Mandela was a keen boxer in his young days.

The stamps offer true insight into what made Nelson Mandela the icon he is.

The stamps are available from major post office branches and can be ordered from –