A life-size statue of Nelson Mandela was unveiled at the United Nations recently on the occasion of his 100th birth anniversary. The statue of the South African leader – worth an estimated $1.8 million – was a gift to the UN from South Africa. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres along with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa revealed the statue at the UN headquarters, but people immediately began to complain it looked nothing like Mandela.
The unveiling came to kick-start a high-level meeting – the Mandela Peace Summit at the UN – for world leaders to renew their commitment to global peace, conflict prevention, conflict resolution, peace building, promotion and protection of human rights and long-term development initiatives.
He was a champion for all people – in his words and in his actions – @antonioguterres at the unveiling of Nelson Mandela’s statue at UN Headquarters this morning. Full remarks: https://t.co/bMLrB0MatP #Mandela100 #UNGA pic.twitter.com/mCq5MsxPd8
— UN Spokesperson (@UN_Spokesperson) September 24, 2018
The sculpture showed Mandela with his arms outstretched. After the cover was pulled off, Ramaphosa and Guterres, placed a small South African flag in his lapel.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the General Assembly, Ms Maria Espinosa and Secretary-General Guterres unveiling the Nelson Mandela Statue at the United Nations Headquarters in New York #Mandela100 pic.twitter.com/8ORAEmySGt
— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) September 24, 2018
While people will thrilled about the statue, they felt it did not resemble the human-rights crusader and freedom fighter.
Trevor Noah’s sarcastic comment dealt the first blow and others quickly joined in.
TONIGHT: A statue of Nelson Mandela was unveiled at the U.N. and it’s READY. pic.twitter.com/S9a2oq0yEk
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) September 25, 2018
A proud moment, especially for #SouthAfricans this #HeritageDay, as #Mandela has the unique privilege of his immortal presence memorialised at the #UNHQ, urging a better world for all, forever.#NeverForget https://t.co/4phBJ6RG4C
— Glenn Ashton ekogaia (@ekogaia) September 24, 2018
I’m sorry, but the statue does not look like Mandela. pic.twitter.com/6spjIsiGgD
— Ronald James (@IamRonaldjames) September 26, 2018
SA really convinced the UN that the statue we gifted them is of Mandela and not Robert De Niro. pic.twitter.com/RrCB1CUigt
— Gugulethu Mhlungu (@GugsM) September 25, 2018
Mandela sad, All seat down Vs I surrender.
— Fanyana D Mofokeng (@FanyanaMofokeng) September 25, 2018
The Mandela statue unveiled at the UN in America had his hands up “ don’t shoot”
— VinnyC TicToc Treason💯 (@NatL_Truth) September 26, 2018
— |M M A M A K W A| (@ThatoAE) September 24, 2018
Quick question – does that statue even look like Nelson Mandela?
— Khaya Sithole (@CoruscaKhaya) September 24, 2018
This is not nelson Mandela, with straight back hair, and goofy smile… This is humiliating our president… With should trumps statue with a blade haircut and a Zulu mastich https://t.co/ss7XQuHEcJ
— Thabo (@Thabo00670195) September 24, 2018
So you’re stating that Nelson Mandela relaxed his hair, gelled and combed it back during his 60s pic.twitter.com/yED9CFQwO4
— 💎King👑Khupari💎 (@ReincarnateCleo) September 24, 2018
That’s statue needs extra work that is not really RN Mandela🤔
— fhatuwani (@giggs_miamore) September 24, 2018
They said it’s mandela’s statue bt I zoomed it,it’s not him😏😏🤔 pic.twitter.com/5PdVPgkNDi
— Gretchen_ndou (@gretchen_ndou) September 24, 2018
— Call me Prince! (@PrinceTjotjo) September 24, 2018
Let’s be honest and not play games here. This thing that is being unveiled here does not look like Nelson Mandela. The person who created this statue should be charged phela this thing is an insult to the man’s legacy pic.twitter.com/dHj8dNJBlv
— Sanele Tshabalala (@saneleb16) September 24, 2018
If that’s Mandela then I never knew him…
— Stress Free ™ (@mzwoitea) September 24, 2018
You probably need to write Mandela on the statue, because that dude does not look like Mandela bro.
— Cash (@Caswell_Phasha) September 24, 2018
However, for now, there’s no indication any change will be made to the statue.
During the ceremony, Guterres said at the ceremony that Mandela “embodied the highest values of the United Nations — peace, forgiveness, compassion and human dignity.” Nelson Mandela’s widow challenged world leaders celebrating his life to put their egos and partisan politics aside and honor his legacy by ending the “senseless violence” plaguing too much of the world.