The 11th of February 1990 will be remembered as one of the most significant days in the history of the world.  It was the day that dramatic change took place – the apartheid regime released Nelson Mandela after he served 27 years in prison.  Today, 30 years later, we celebrate this watershed event that changed South Africa forever.
Madiba’s release from prison set our nation on the course of liberation and culminated in the first democratic elections 4 years later.  Madiba provided the leadership we needed that led us to a peaceful transition from apartheid to freedom. 
I met Madiba two weeks after his release in Durban, where I spent an exceptional hour with him.  His gentle, caring and modest nature struck me. It is still the most momentous engagement I have ever had.
My career in the film industry was catalysed by the call Madiba and the ANC made in the 1980’s for people to speak out against apartheid. Heeding that call, I made A PLACE OF WEEPING the first anti-apartheid film made in South Africa which we did on the run from the much-feared security police. Being inspired by Madiba, I have tried to tell important South African stories that are socially relevant. 
I am proud to have made MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM, which celebrates Madiba’s life and his exceptional legacy.
As I reflect on the last 30 years, I acknowledge Madiba’s role in transforming South Africa by correcting the imbalances of the past.  We are grateful for his leadership in ending apartheid and restoring the dignity of our people, his efforts to promote nation building as he recognised the ‘fear’ in our transition, and him taking up the cause of the poor and those affected by HIV/AIDS. South Africa today benefits from Madiba’s actions which is a gift for future generations of our country.  
Today, in the spirit of Madiba, we also salute the many thousands of people who committed their lives to our liberation, including Walter Sisulu, Joe Slovo, Ahmed Kathrada, Govan Mbeki, Oliver Tambo, Neil Aggett and the many heroes of the struggle.
I am also proud to be participating in the 30thAnniversary celebration of Madiba’s release by producing two short films which will be screened at the official event in Cape Town.  You may view them here:
‘Celebrating 30 Years of Inspiration’:
‘30 years in Profound Quotations’:
Anant Singh
11 February 2020