Business & Economy

Tuesday, 25 March 2014 15:50

The Mandela Opus - The story of a big man with a big story in a big book

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The Story of a Big Man with a Big Story in a Big Book – The Mandela Opus

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world," Nelson Mandela

The development of the Mandela Opus is a joint project of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Africa Rising, Matchworld and OpusMedia.  The Mandela Opus was launched in December 2013 and, according to Lyndon Barends, executive chairman, Matchworld, “It tells a story of a Big Man with a Big Story in a Big Book.” 

Sangari SA joined the Mandela Opus project in January 2013 as the official project manager of the publication. “This year-long project wasn’t just a job for Sangari SA, but rather an honour to contribute to his legacy. The 50x50cm, 680 page, 37kg book is filled with historic stories and iconic pictures which depict Madiba’s legacy right up to the day he was laid to rest,” says Sangari SA project manager Bernie Theunissen.

It was Mandela’s passion and steadfast commitment that inspired the Sangari World Wide Group to establish an office in South Africa in 1994. Sangari SA opened its doors 20 years ago with the main objective to align its business model to Madiba’s dreams for education.  

Sangari SA’s products are used in over 5 000 schools, universities and FET institutions countrywide, as well as to support NGO projects and businesses. 

“The move to South Africa wasn’t just a good decision; Sangari has stayed around for the 20 years to tell a story about the successes, challenges and improvement of Education in SA,” says Bez Sangari, CEO of Sangari SA.

Sangari SA believes initiatives like the National Development Plan, National Education Collaboration Trust, and the continued work by many NGO’s, teachers, school principals and education officials will all contribute to achieving Madiba’s goals for education in South Africa and across the globe. 

The Mandela Opus serves as a reminder of Tata Madiba’s relentless commitment to improve learning and education. This historical compendium should be available to all South African schools, universities, and places of academic achievement and life-long learning.  

Project Reference:

Inside the Mandela Opus:

The rich content of the Opus has been nourished through the unprecedented access given to the Opus team to archives and individuals all over the world. The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory has provided unpublished correspondence, artefacts and other materials to bring more insight into the life of Madiba. New research, interviews and commissioned art work are presented on a luxury large format scale that also breathes new life into old archive photography and memorabilia.

Partners include:

Nelson Mandela Fundation, Africa Rising, Matchworld and OpusMedia

About Sangari:

Sangari WorldWide was established in 1965 by Ahmed Sangari, an Iranian Lecturer passionate about sharing his experiences throughout the world. Sangari is active in over 29 countries with operating franchises in Europe, Russia, North America, South America and South Africa. 

When Bez Sangari heard Tata Mandela’s quote, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world," it reminded him why he felt compelled to establish the Sangari offices in South Africa in 1994. In 1995 Africa, let alone South Africa, seemingly was a tough place to consider a for-profit business where millions were denied quality education. As South Africa became more inclusive, the vast discrepancies of educational resources in schools, higher education, and informal education centres were evident.  With a greater part of the population surveyed as illiterate, Sangari knew they had their work cut out among the ‘Rainbow Children’ and the ‘Freeborns’ (children born post-1995 democratic elections). 

It was Mandela's unwavering love and care for kids and his passion for education that continued to challenge Sangari SA to develop solutions for national landscape. Through the black economic policies spearheaded by Mandela, SangariSA has appointed two Black South African business shareholders, Mrs Ayanda Tlelai and Mr Hilton Theunissen. In 1996, during their first meeting, Madiba posed a challenge to Hilton: to continue to work in South African education for a minimum of 27 years. Hilton was up for the challenge and in 1997 Madiba gave Hilton and the team at Princeton Computing the Presidential Award for their work in ICT in Education. 

Sangari SA currently employs over 90 people in their offices across 5 provinces.  Sangari SA supports over 4000 schools in Science and Mathematics, deploys ICT equipment in over 1000 schools, and provides vocational and engineering equipment into all universities and FET colleges. SangariSA joined the 2010 Mandela Day celebrations with the Department of Education by donating educational equipment, professional development workshops and provisioning ongoing support to Tata Mandela's primary schools, high schools, as well as the Mandelapark Primary School which was a school that operated in a horse barn for many years. SangariSA grabbed the opportunity to ‘pay it forward’ by working pro bono in the development of the Mandela Opus and by launching the Mandela Opus Children's Art Competition. SangariSA is further committed to support the project to disseminate the Mandela Opus to all South African schools, universities, and places of learning Tata Mandela's legacy and compelling story must be told for many years to come.  Sangari SA is honored to be a contributor of the development of the Mandela Opus. 

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