Messages For Mandela

'Thanda is a non-profit organization that assists with the social upliftment of children in rural KwaZulu-Natal'

Photographer Clint Strydom collaborated with Thanda After-School in 2013 to create ‘Messages for Mandela’, a project that would enable a young child in rural Umtwalume, KwaZulu- Natal, to write a message to their beloved ‘Tata Mandela’.

Hundreds of children in Thanda After-School’s support and education programmes wrote letters of thanks and good wishes.

Clint Strydom brought them to life by showing the smiles of joy that accompany the letters. Clint is actively involved in raising funds for his local community through his alliance with Thanda.

“From the smallest children to the coolest teenagers, one thing is for sure amongst the children at Thanda After- School: Mandela is their hero. In the rolling hills of rural Umtwalume, where children run with wire toys along the dirt roads, they call him ‘Tata Mandela’, referring to him as their own father. We asked them to write messages for Mandela, and heartfelt appreciation and love spilled onto crumpled pieces of paper. With their pencils, they told of their understanding of the sacrifices he made, of their deep gratitude for freedom, and genuine concern for this health. They told the story of a man that will never be lost, and they showed a story of hope for the future.”

Angela Larkan - Founder of Thanda After-School