On UN Nelson Mandela Day, call for a Scottish people’s statue

Glasgow Green 1988
On 12 June 1988 30,000 people marched to Glasgow Green to demand Nelson Mandela’s release

The Nelson Mandela Scottish Memorial Foundation (NMSMF) is marking United Nations Nelson Mandela International Day on 18 July by calling on people in Scotland to donate to build a statue of Mr Mandela in Glasgow and to fund a long term education project in Scottish schools.

Following its launch in 2017 by Sir Alex Ferguson, the Foundation has been steadily raising funds, planning permission for the statue is in place and it has already backed a pilot education programme.

Fund-raising has included major events but also individual donations and initiatives like kilt walks and birthday and retirement donations. In October there will be a special comedy night at the Stand in Glasgow.

Brian Filling, NMSMF Chair and Honorary Consul for South Africa in Scotland, said: “While Mr Mandela was in prison, many ordinary people in Scotland organised and acted to make sure the world would know about him and the fight against Apartheid.

“That’s why we want today’s generation to join us in raising the funds to make this statue one that they can see as theirs – a ‘people’s statue’ to remind future generations of the key part Scotland played in taking action for human rights and challenging racism, and on taking action for a better world.”

Scotland was at the centre of the campaign for Mr Mandela’s release from prison. The first ever freedom of a city for Nelson Mandela came from Glasgow. It kick-started 2,500 mayors from 56 different countries eventually signing a declaration to the UN in 1981 demanding his release.

The pure Glasgow gesture of renaming the home of the Glasgow South African Consulate as Nelson Mandela Place in 1986 won worldwide acclaim – and Mr Mandela never forgot it as he told the 15,000 crowd in Glasgow when he visited the city in 1993.

Donations to the to the campaign can be made online at https://mandelascottishmemorial.org/donate