As the world prepares for the Nelson Mandela International Day on 18 July 2015, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos in collaboration with Femi Arts Warehouse, has commenced a week-long exhibition of arguably the world’s largest African shirt, ‘Dansiki’ with hand-finished quotes of Nelson Mandela.
Some of the quotes on the shirt included, ‘Live life as though nobody is watching, and express yourself as though everyone is listening’; ‘Courage is not the absence of fear, it is inspiring others to move beyond it’; ‘Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished’; and ‘There are a few misfortunes in this world that you cannot turn into a personal triumph, if you have the iron will and the necessary skill’; among others.
Mounted on the Nelson Mandela’s effigy, the larger-than-life African shirt called ‘Dansiki’ in Yoruba Language of South-West Nigeria, and which measures 12 feet wide and 16 feet in length, is to edify the ideals, thoughts, philosophy and values of Nelson Mandela. His words on Marble, a few of which were inscribed all over the shirt, formed a veritable educational tool for students and people of all ages.
The exhibition which opened on Wednesday 15 July 2015 at the premises of UNIC Lagos, will end on Wednesday, 23 July 2015. Already, students, NGOs, media, and other members of the public have visited the exhibition ground where the National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun, acting as the Curator, shared the message of the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon and explained the rationale behind the exhibition.
The Secretary General had in his message, called on people around the world to make a difference in the communities where they live and work by taking time to serve others. ‘The theme behind the Day – “Take action, Inspire change” – highlights the importance of working together to build a peaceful, sustainable and equitable world,’ he added, ‘Let us all continue, each day, to draw inspiration from Nelson Mandela’s life-long example and his call to never cease working to build a better world for all.’