The Passing of Nelson Mandela

Shortly after the passing of Nelson Mandela was announced, Picturepark silenced its social media accounts out of respect. Nelson Mandela was perhaps the most globally respected and beloved leader our planet has known, so to continue business-as-usual didn’t seem right to us when we believed the world should be focused on something more important than Digital Asset Management.

Baby Mnive Nhlabathi with grandmother Eveline and cousin Mbali (1982)

Mandela’s dedication to freedom and his ability to embrace forgiveness were inspiring gifts to us all. But for South Africans, the death of such a cherished leader has been an emotional force that has strengthened the country’s unity, according to Mnive Nhlabathi, Founder and CEO of Picturepark South African partner BrandPark.

“He really inspired us all. We are who we are because of him. Everyone is so emotional in South Africa right now. His death has created a renewed sense of unity amongst us.”

Nhlabathi grew up in South Africa, so Mandela’s efforts were more to him than news headlines.

“Mandela and his era of leaders, Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu and the rest, shaped who we are,” he said. “I watched my parents suffer under Apartheid—the indignity, the constant police raids, feelings of being lesser humans, the tear gas at public gatherings and funerals—I saw it all as a child. My parents and grandparents endured the suffering with such grace. And despite it all, they fought hard to instill good values within us. And the way South Africans reconciled due to Mandela’s magic is amazing.”

Mnive Nhlabathi today

Now 31, Mnive Nhlabathi can look back and even better appreciate the contributions Mandela made and the effects they had on him.

“I lived through the last 12 years of Apartheid. It’s an experience that grounded me, taught me about about human nature, and made me who I am. Today, all races are united in South Africa. The positive energy is amazing. A whole nation mourning together.”

Picturepark extends our deepest sympathies to the people of South Africa. And we thank you for sharing your father with the rest of us.

Feature image courtesy of