It’s all systems go for former US President Barack Obama to deliver the Nelson Mandela lecture in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

The event is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation in partnership with the Motsepe Foundation. An estimated 14 000 people from across the globe are expected to gather at Wanderers Stadium for the lecture.

Obama’s eloquence saw him win two terms in the White House. Something that Nelson Mandela Foundation spokesperson, Luzuku Koti says is remarkable.

“There’s quite a lot that’s going to happen at 10am because there’ll be food and merchandising, there’ll exhibitions and quite a lot will share to people by many stakeholders. But at one o’clock we’ll be preparing to get ready for the main lecture which actually happens at 12h45. So all of that is in place.”


The annual lecture has in the past been delivered by notable speakers such as former US President Bill Clinton, former Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and former Irish President Mary Robinson.

In 2005, the then little-known Barack Obama met Madiba briefly at his hotel – an encounter that made an indelible impression on him. In 2010, on the occasion of Mandela’s 92 birthday, Obama had this message.

“He continues to be a model of leadership, not just for South Africa but for the world. So we celebrate him here in the United States as you do in SA. We wish him all the best and we are constantly reminded that his legacy of seeing every person as important and not making distinctions based on race or class, but the degree to which they are people of character, that’s a good guide post for how all us should operate as leaders; and so I wish him all the best and South Africa continues to be blessed by not just a national treasure but a world treasure.”

It is a much-anticipated lecture, given by a gifted speech-maker.

Below is a video of Madiba urging the world to wage a war against poverty…