Movie ticket giveaways for Mandela: long walk to freedom

Roadshow Films and Christchurch City Libraries are giving you the chance to WIN one of 20 double passes to the movie Mandela: long walk to freedom.

Based on his autobiography of the same name, this epic motion picture spans Nelson Mandela’s extraordinary life, from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected President of South Africa. Mandela: long walk to freedom is the thrilling story of an ordinary man who rose to the challenge of his times and triumphed – an intimate portrait of the making of a modern icon. Idris Elba (Prometheus) stars as Nelson Mandela, Naomie Harris (Skyfall) stars as Winnie Mandela, with Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl) directing.

Mandela: long walk to freedom, in cinemas on January 30, 2014.

View the movie trailer and visit . Rated: M- Violence and offensive language

How can you win? Just email and tell us the name of the prison where Mandela served most of his time –  email us at including your name, phone number, library card number and address. We’ll get in touch with the winners and hook you up with the tickets.

  • The competition is open to Christchurch City Libraries members.
  • Staff of Christchurch City Libraries and their immediate families are not able to enter.
  • Competition closes on Friday 31 January.
  • Winners announced on 3 February.

Please note: Tickets valid from 13 February at Event, Reading, Hoyts, Berkeley, Rialto or any participating independent cinema. Not valid on Satudays after 5pm, on public holidays or at any La Premiere, Cinema Delux, Gold Class, D-Box, Gold Lounge, Imax or Circle Lounge screenings. This voucher must be taken as offered and is not exchangeable, transferable or redeemable for cash and does not constitute a reserved seat. Cinemas reserve the right to refuse vouchers deemed invalid or tampered with. This ticket cannot be resold.

The best national anthem in the world

Cover of MandelaAll over the world, at this time of mourning for the passing of Nelson Mandela, people will be thirsty for information about this great man. Some will read the many books, maybe take out a DVD or two, or watch tv for documentaries.

But I will listen to music.

I’ll start with Dollar Brand (Abdullah Ibrahim) who spent years in exile because of his political beliefs. Then maybe I’ll indulge in a little resistance music from my CDs – the best came from rebellious young Afrikaans men. Next I’ll lighten up with some Paul Simon gems from Graceland and kick back with Ladysmith Black Mambazo and their wonderful harmonies.

But I will always build up to South Africa’s National Anthem: Nkosi SikeleliAfrika (God Bless Africa). Here is a version of it. Written by a schoolteacher for a church hymn competition which he won in 1897, later  the singing of it became an act of political defiance against Apartheid and finally it was incorporated with Die Stem and sung at Nelson Mandela’s inauguration in 1994. South Africa has eleven official languages and five of them are represented in this anthem: Xhosa at the start, followed by Zulu, then the completely different sounding Sotho. After that Afrikaans and finally English.

You are certain to hear it in this week of mourning for Mandela. When I hear it I am taken right back to all the occasions when it was sung at the Zulu College at which I lectured. Everyone stands. There is a small silence. Hand on heart, Black Power salute from some of the men. Then the singing begins – in five languages, sometimes in two-part harmony, the softer female voices answered by the powerful bass of the men: Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika – God bless Africa.

Every nation loves its own national anthem, I know that. But for  me this is the best one in the world. Indulge me just this one week, because for all its poverty, corruption, droughts and AIDS problems, God did bless Africa. He sent us Nelson Mandela.

A Good Heart – Nelson Mandela

It is with sadness but a certain feeling of inevitability that we heard of Nelson Mandela’s passing. At 95, after months of ill health, media speculation and South African people’s prayers and best wishes, the lawyer, political activist, and the first black president of South Africa gave up his last fight.

A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination – Nelson MandelaCover of Nelson Mandela

Born in Umtata, South Africa in 1918, he spent his life fighting for the people of his country and throughout the world, especially those denied basic human rights and privileges. From the age of 26, when he became president of the Congress Youth League, his political and human rights work continued up until very recently when his ill health forced his withdrawal from public life.

He became leader of the African National Conference (ANC),  in 1961 and was imprisoned as a political prisoner for nearly 27 years. He embodied struggle against government mandated discrimination, and his depth of commitment, courage and determination gave strength to South African blacks and minorities and also hope and encouragement to people around the world concerned with human rights and the basic freedoms of oppressed people worldwide.

For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that enhances the freedom of others –  Nelson Mandela

His tribal name, Rolihlahla, means ‘one who brings trouble upon himself’. This is quite fitting for a man determined not to let his personal comfort, safety and health stand in the way of his beliefs. His second wife Winnie Mandela, (he married three times and had six children), once said of her husband, “He told me to anticipate a life physically without him, that there would never be a normal situation where he would be head of the family.” She said he told her this with great pain.

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world – Nelson Mandela

On August 4, 1962, he was arrested by South African police and charged with organising illegal demonstrations. He was sentenced to five years in prison, but while in prison, he was charged with treason and sabotage and received a life sentence.Cover of Young Mandela

He was offered complete freedom in 1985 in return for his renunciation of violence in the struggle for his people’s freedom, but he refused to do so until the government granted blacks full political rights.

After his release in 1990, he assumed the leadership of the ANC, which was now a legal organisation. He called for a truce in the armed struggle and to open negotiations towards human rights in South Africa. He toured the world, raising funds for his cause and increasing awareness from world leaders and the world as a whole.

South Africa moved towards free and fair elections, and on 12 May 1994, Mandela was elected  President of South Africa. He focused his attention on health, housing, education and economic stability. His government introduced legislation requiring workplace safety, overtime pay and minimum wages.

He retired from office in 1999, but continued to campaign for civil rights. He offered his services as a mediator for peace, and between countries, such as brokering a settlement between Libya and western powers over the Lockerbie Bombings.Find in our library catalogue

He won the Nobel Peace Prize, the Anne Frank Medal for Human Rights and Tolerance, the International Gandhi Peace Prize, and the Ambassador of Conscience award from Amnesty International among many other international accolades.

Christchurch City Libraries has a wealth of books, and access to online databases with information about this great man. He wrote seven books, and  the library has many books on Nelson Mandela,  his life, politics and the times he lived in and had influence over.

If you wish to find some information about him on-line, try our own Source collection of databases, in particular, Biography in Context , or World Book – Online Reference . These are great resources for children doing school projects too.

Do you have memories of Nelson Mandela, or have you been inspired by the man and his beliefs?