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Nelson Mandela: a Personal Memoir

Tim Holford Smith recalls a meeting with Nelson Mandela

A few years ago I was invited to the press night of a South African musical. An acquaintance behind me who was the London PR agent of Charlton Heston asked me what I was doing there. Riled by this I said it was at the personal invitation of Nelson Mandela. This was a total fabrication.

Mandela arrived in his characteristic floral shirt and danced  down the aisle close to me. I outstretched my arm and said:

“Hi Nelson and you remember my friend R.”

” Of course”

I added my friend ‘s son had the same birthday as him

“And how is he?” He enquired.

My PR colleague was truly impressed.

I wonder if any other statesman would have done this. Not only was he the most forgiving of men, he was also one of the most accessible.

About Tim Holford-Smith

Despite running his architectural practice full-time, Tim is a frequent theatre-goer and occasional am-dram producer. More Posts