Mandela returns to Mothercity with epic portrait

The Swedish government had been a main contributor to ANC during the years when Nelson Mandela was imprisoned at Robben Island.

This epic portrait was takes on his first visit in Stockholm shortly after his release.

Mr Mandela and his three man ANC entourage was very nervous about the shoot but was calmed when they heard that Mr Hans Gedda, was Olof Palmes personal photographer, for all official portraits.
They had a very short window of ten minutes to do the shoot.
They therefore set up the white background at the foreign ministers office. And the minister himself, Mr Sten Andersson had to hold the flash light.

Hans Gedda was very nervous, almost intimidated by having this larger than life figure before him. Using his Hasselblas he only had twelve shots to go.
First four showed a very stiff and nervous Mandela. And Gedda got even more nervous having only eight shoots to go. He tried a couple of different positions but they didn’t work out either.
Having only two shots left Gedda thought he had nothing to loose.
He remembered that he saw Mr Mandela coming out of the plane with a raised tight fist. Humbly he asked, with nothing to loose, if Mr Mandela please could raise his fist and hold it over his forehead. Mandela liked the idea. First picture failed because his fist covered the light.
Gedda with time constraint and only an artists intuition took the foreign ministers arm lowered it and shoot this historic picture that became cover of Times Magazine as well as Mr Geddas greatest shot ever.

This particular edition only exists in five copies and one will now be part of Travelstart’s board room in Cape Town.

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