A Tribute to Nelson Mandela – by Bernard Kinsey

#016 Mandela & Kinsey

With the burial of Nelson Mandela on Sunday, I have been reflecting on his incomparable impact on the world, and the incredible blessing I was given in getting to know him. Those that know me, know that I often speak of legacy, and there is none greater than that of Mandela in my opinion.

I had the honor of first meeting President Mandela in the early ’90’s as part of a committee that supported his national fundraising tour. I am very proud that the Los Angeles committee helped him raise over $1.2 million, more than any other city on his cross-country tour. In 1993, as a result of the successes of the Rebuild Los Angeles effort of which I was co-chair, a private meeting was organized, where Mandela probed us on how to replicate our model to attract business investment to South African Townships. He subsequently invited me to South Africa in 1994 to consult his cabinet.

In my interactions with the giant that is Nelson Mandela, I was always in awe of his grace and poise. The principle, strength, courage, and resolve that his life embodied is superhuman.

We must all celebrate and honor the life of Nelson Mandela with our actions, remembering that there is still a great deal to stand and fight for. Inequality still abounds all over the world, and if we do not address it and do what we can with what we have, we are effectively saying that it’s ok.

We salute the life and legacy of Madiba Nelson Mandela, champion of freedom and justice, a truly extraordinary example from which we have all been blessed.

– Bernard W. Kinsey


Below is a 1989 portrait of Mandela by our dear friend, artist and activist, Artis Lane. Artis and her late husband Vince Cannon were among the founding members of Artists for a New South Africa (ANSA)  and have been long time supporters since its beginning days as Artists Against Apartheid.

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