Nelson Mandela is considered to be a man who changed the world. His triumph had worldwide repercussions. Beyond his strategic political skills and fierce intellect Mandela managed to achieve peace for his country on the brink of civil war. He did this in a manner that no other leader in history has been able to achieve: by getting into the mind of the enemy, understanding the enemy, and finally forgiving the enemy. He has already gone down in a history as not only the greatest statesman of his time, but also as a great humanitarian.
"Each and every crew and cast member knuckled-down to contribute his or her expertise to make the best possible movie," acknowledges Singh. "The story resonates with every South African and everyone felt pride and ownership. Despite the size of the film we were one big family and regardless of the position anyone held, we all felt very privileged to have had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work on this remarkable story."
"Every day when I walked on that set, it reminded me that I was in a moment when I was part of something really special, something that will always be remembered." says Gordon.
Singh adds: "Here we are today, able to tell this story in a way that is so accurate, so that the world in fifty years or a hundred years from now, can see this film and be able to say, 'You know, that was an amazing journey. You can't believe that happened. 'Mandela's story stands apart and above. It is a cinematic acknowledgement that will hopefully inspire us, and the world."
Zolani Mkiva who in addition to playing the role of Raymond Mhlaba also served as the cultural advisor on the film, says: "I want to see Mandela : Long Walk to Freedom in Russian, in Arabic, in French, in Portuguese, in Swahili, and all our own mother tongue languages because this is a story that will inspire billions of people across the world. This is the first movie of its kind to be made in a liberated South Africa, we have never had a production of this magnitude and gravitas that will communicate to all the four quarters of the globe - a message flowing from South Africa. Many people know that Nelson Mandela went to prison, but what they do not know is what in essence he endured as a man."
Executive producer, Sanjeev Singh adds: "As filmmakers we hope to leave behind a legacy for South Africa’s future generations about the man who fought for their democracy."
Anant Singh reflects: "I had also the good fortune to meet Madiba a few times while we were filming. He was looking strong, and he was in good spirits. We are very fortunate to have him with us at the age of 95, and hopefully many more years to come. Most importantly, I want to make sure that he gets to see this film."
Was it their ancestors who guided Mandela's parents to christen him Rolihlahla - the Xhosa word for "troublemaker"? Was it possible that these ordinary people of the land could ever imagine that the infant they held was destined to live an extraordinary life that that would one day change the world?