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Twenty-nine years ago today, on 11 February 1990, Nelson Mandela was released after spending 27 years behind bars as a political prisoner.

To commemorate the anniversary, Showmax has launched Long Walk to Freedom, the four-part miniseries by Anant Singh with the A-list stars of the feature film – Idris Elba as Madiba, Naomie Harris as Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Terry Pheto as Evelyn Mase, Mandela’s first wife.

As producer Singh said in July 2018, when the miniseries was first broadcast on DStv in celebration of 100 years since Mandela’s birth, “During the production, we shot an enormous amount of footage that was not used in the feature film and decided to create the miniseries. We are very pleased that this enables us to tell the complete Madiba story as it includes scenes of his childhood in the Transkei; being sent to live with the Tembu Regent, Jongintaba; his move to Johannesburg and experiencing the vibrance of Sophiatown and its destruction; his internship with the Johannesburg law firm, Witkin, Sidelsky and Eidelman, and many other watershed moments in his life.”

In four 45-minute episodes, the miniseries gives a more nuanced, more detailed portrayal of Mandela’s life than Singh’s feature film, and is fascinating viewing for those who would like an introduction to the man with ordinary beginnings and legendary achievements, as well as those who are already intimately familiar with the path Mandela took to becoming an international icon.

For more Mandela-related viewing, stream Seasons 1 to 3 of the 21 Icons series, which explores the lives of extraordinary South Africans and was inspired by Mandela’s legacy, or find out more about Winnie Mandela by streaming the documentary Winnie and the feature film Mrs Mandela starring Sophie Okonedo. Showmax also offers the 2010 documentary Reconciliation: Mandela Miracle, which looks at the circumstances surrounding South Africa’s miraculous transition to democracy.

Start watching now »

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