As the world prepares to mark the centenary of Nelson Mandela‘s birth, a musical celebrating the founder of modern South Africa will soon begin performances in Paris.
The production has been approved by the Mandela family. His grandson Ndaba has been watching rehearsals in the French capital.
Nelson Mandela’s long walk to freedom is being told through the medium of music and dance. ‘Madiba: The musical’ is back on the Paris stage two years after first showing and this time with a new cast.
“I have never seen the Madiba story being told through a musical firstly, and I loved how they infused the story of love through the musical because as you know Madiba said that love is stronger than hate. If somebody can be taught to hate, he can be taught to love and love is much stronger than hate. And I think that’s specifically poignant especially in this time we are living in,” said Ndaba.
Ndaba Mandela lived with his grandfather as a child and is on hand to offer the cast invaluable insights into the real man.
“I had to give my own sense to say speak with authority. Be bold but not loud and emphasize those words of liberty, of justice of freedom.”
Actor Jean-Louis Garcon says playing this hero is a humbling experience as is being advised by his character real-life relation.
“It’s surreal! it’s surreal. I’ve just met Ndaba Mandela and the first impression he made was like he’s living feedback. I could feel his rhythm, the way he talks and it gave me a lot of information about how his grandfather would talk. It’s a gift. Yes, a gift. It’s a great opportunity to have the pleasure to meet him,” said Garcon .
Jean-Pierre Hadida co-wrote the musical which will soon be translated into English for a global tour.
“It was like all the ingredients to make a beautiful story. Nelson Mandela said ‘it’s music and dance that make me at peace with the world.’ So we had a real legitimacy to write a musical,” Hadida said.
‘Madiba: The Musical’ will soon debut at the Olympia in Paris before touring France in April and May. It is just one of the ways in which the arts world is celebrating the unique life of Nelson Mandela and his singular contribution to humanity’s story, 100 years after Madiba’s birth.