Nelson’s Speech. Winnie’s Glasses. A Nation’s Hero.

By Andrew Ivey | Speeches

Feb 12
Nelson Mandela's release after 27 years imprisonment

Nelson and Winnie Mandela after his 1990 release

With the 20th anniversary of the release of Nelson Mandela from prison in South Africa comes the memory of his Cape Town speech on that day in 1990. Amid scenes of wild jubilation and some chaos, Mandela brought out his prepared speech and reached into his pocket for his glasses.

They weren’t there! He’d left them in Victor Verster prison. No panic. Knowing that his wife Winnie had a similar optical prescription to his own, Mandela borrowed her glasses and began his speech after 27 years of captivity. Resourceful and resilient, glasses or no glasses.


About the Author

The Principal Trainer at training business Time to Market. Based in Oxford, I run presentation and public speaking training courses, coaching sessions and seminars throughout the UK. Andrew Ivey on Google+