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Here Are The 4 Black Actors Who Have Played Nelson Mandela’ Role In Movies

Nelson Mandela’s life story is unlike any other. His experience and struggles before he was declared as the first black president in South Africa are definitely worth sharing to the world. He is recognized and celebrated as a hero not only in his country but in the eyes of everyone in the world.


As a globally recognized public figure, Nelson Mandela has been portrayed numerous times by different actors on screen. His life and story has been recounted and featured many times in television and movies thanks to his achievements and popularity. Here are our top favorite actors who played on his behalf.

  • Sidney Poitier (Mandela and De Klerk) – This TV movie casts Sidney Poitier as Mandela and also stars Michael Caine as De Klerk. The story focuses on the negotiations between the two to finally end the apartheid in South AfricaMandela and De Klerk received numerous recognitions and awards.
  • Danny Glover (Mandela) – This British television drama stars Danny Glover as Mandela. The plot narrates the story of Mandela when he joined the African National Congress to thwart the apartheid movement in South Africa. His political struggles introduces him to a social worker who he eventually marries.

Mandela’s non-violent policies turns into a militant force after the police officers annihilate peaceful protesters on the streets. The officials capture Mandela and sentence him to life imprisonment.

  • Morgan Freeman (Invictus) – This biographical sports film is directed by the award-winning Clint Eastwood. Morgan Freeman stars as Nelson Mandela while Matt Damon portrays the captain of the Springboks rugby team.

The story circles around the events in South Africa during the 1995 Rugby World Cup. This prestigious event was hosted by South Africa following the abolishment of the apartheid. The title of the movie was taken from the poem with the same title of William Ernest Henley.

After the release of the film, movie critics gave a positive review and also earned Freeman an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor as well as Best Supporting Actor for Damon. This is perhaps one of the most popular movies about Mandela.

  • Idris Elba (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom) – This British-South African movie stars Idris Elba and is based on the autobiography book Long Walk to Freedom. This biopic recounts the tales of Mandela during his childhood, early life, education, and years spent in prison. The story also emphasizes on how Mandela worked his way to become South Africa’s first black president.

Written by How Africa

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