Mandela's jailer and friend in London for official exhibition
After last week’s very successful London opening of Mandela: The Official Exhibition, this week sees a visit by Christo Brand, who was Mandela’s warder, and later, life-long friend.
Brand, who became close to Mandela, first at Robben Island and later at Pollsworth Prison, is at the exhibition at the 26 Leake Street Gallery at London’s Waterloo today, Monday 18th February), tomorrow, Tuesday 19th, and on Wednesday 20th.
He took big risks to help Mandela and the two became life-long friends. He’s donated a number of items to the exhibition, most touchingly Mandela’s own tennis racket from his time on Robben Island, which he gifted to Christo to give to his own children and also the master-key to Robben Island prison.
He currently manages the museum’s bookshop at the former prison which is now a World Heritage Centre and a place of healing and reconciliation, where he recounts his experiences to thousands of visitors a year.
It’s a powerful story and Christo is the co-author of the memoir Doing Life With Mandela: My Prisoner, My Friend.
Nelson Mandela: The Official Exhibition runs at the 26 Leake Street Gallery at Waterloo’s historic Leake Street Graffiti Tunnels from Friday 8th February to Sunday 2nd June. A donation will be made from proceeds to the Mvezo Development Trust which supports economic development programmes in South Africa’s Eastern Cape.