Britain’s Got Talent star hosts Gala Dinner in Liverpool for Nelson Mandela’s family
11 months ago
A star of Britain’s Got Talent will host a Gala Dinner evening of live entertainment for the family of Nelson Mandela in Liverpool later this month.
The former President’s eldest daughter Dr Makaziwe ‘Maki’ Mandela and his granddaughter Tukwini Mandela, are travelling to the city to make their mark on artwork which will form part of the city’s permanent Nelson Mandela memorial in Princes Park.
The completed memorial will include a ‘Freedom Bridge’, a pavilion and 32 cylindrical stone-works inscribed with inspirational Mandela quotes. These pedestals represent the oil drums used to grow an allotment on the rooftop of Pollsmoor Prison where Mandela was held for part of his prison sentence. During their six-day trip, the family will visit Crosby Memorials to personally inscribe one of the stone drums.
The Gala Dinner at Hilton Liverpool on Friday 22nd July, organised by local charity Mandela8, will be hosted by stand-up comedian Daliso Chaponda, who shot to fame on Britain’s Got Talent, making it to the final of the 2017 series and establishing himself a firm favourite with the judges and the British public. He has performed around the world and at the Edinburgh, Melbourne, Singapore, and Cape Town comedy festivals.
With over 300 million views of his stand up online, Daliso previously took part in Miss Liverpool, Poppy Gerrard’s online fundraiser for Mandela8 last year – “Lockdown’s Got Talent”. He is also the writer, creator, and host of his Rose d’Or nominated BBC Radio 4 show Citizen of Nowhere that has aired for two series.
The evening will also feature live musical performances from Senegalese griot, Diabel Cissokho and local artists, Ni Maxine and Dorcas Seb, all curated by Liverpool institution, Africa Oyé.
Dr Maki and Tukwini last visited the city in February 2019 to give their blessing to the Princes Park location for the memorial which it is hoped will be completed by the end of the year.
The work will reflect Nelson Mandela’s love of gardens and horticulture along with his struggle for freedom, equality and humanity. The spaces will be used for future activity in the park, acting as a focal point and an area to visit, reflect and educate.
Liverpool City Council made Nelson Mandela Freeman of the City in 1994.
The visit is being organised by Toxteth-based charity Mandela8 which commissioned the official memorial. The charity is working in partnership with Liverpool City Council and other supporters include Heritage Lottery Fund UK, Uniglobal Union, Unison North West, FACT, The Sovini Group, MSB Solicitors, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and housing and regeneration group Torus, its charitable arm Torus Foundation and the Group’s construction company and contractor, HMS.
Dr Maki and Tukwini Mandela said:
“We hold a special place in our hearts for Liverpool and its people, and we are really excited to return to see the memorial being made and be involved in a range of special events to celebrate our father and grandfather’s legacy. It is really important that now, more than ever, hope and aspiration is a key part of the legacy we continue to fulfil. We want to share that message with Liverpool when we visit.”
Host of the Gala Dinner, Daliso Chaponda said:
“I am looking forward to hosting the Mandela Gala Dinner. It’s great to be performing again after our years of lockdowns and isolation. This gala in particular means a lot to me as I went to high school in Swaziland at Waterford Kamhlaba and we often engaged with the South African Apartheid struggle. I recall going to Johannesburg to watch plays at the Market theatre about prejudice and being moved by Mandela’s inspiring speeches about forgiveness and change.
Particularly now, when the world seems more and more divided and I see the rise of xenophobic rhetoric in how people speak about migrants and refugees in the UK, I feel that Mandela’s messages of unity and humanity are more important to reflect upon.”
Sonia Bassey, Mandela8 Chair said:
“Mandela8 is absolutely delighted to host Dr Maki and Tukwini Mandela again after so long. We are really looking forward to showing them around our wonderful city again and making sure they get to meet as many people as possible this time. We have arranged a fantastic programme to celebrate their return and the making of our memorial.”