By Laura Hughes
Published: JMU Journalism 08/11/16
Plans for a memorial to commemorate Nelson Mandela in a Liverpool Park are moving forward after a successful fundraising event.
The Nelson Mandela Campaign Group held the event to raise money for the permanent artwork in Princes Park, Toxteth.
‘Living the Legacy’ was held at Everton Football Club on Friday and saw a host of celebrities attend, including former Liverpool FC stars John Barnes and Howard Gayle, ex-England footballer Trevor Sinclair and the Lord and Deputy Mayor of the city.
Those who went along were also joined by special guest, Sello Hatang, Chief Executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
The occasion played host to a range of entertainment, including a performance by up-and-coming artist Taýa, a South African musical compilation by Paul Duhaney and Africa Oýe, as well as a serving of ‘Mandela Scouse’.
Although the total figure raised is yet to be confirmed, the raffle that took place on the evening raised £600.
Sonia Bassey, campaign director for Nelson Mandela Campaign Group, told JMU Journalism: “The night was very successful, it was fully booked and well attended by the community. We are developing more fundraising ideas for the memorial over the next 12 months.”
The campaign, which has been endorsed by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and is now its official patron, is aiming to raise £250,000 for the memorial.
The former South African President had connections with the city, having been awarded the Freedom of Liverpool in 1994 – the same year as his Presidential election – for his work in combating apartheid laws.
Sonia added: “We haven’t defined the memorial yet, we just know it is going to be a contemporary artwork but it’s not going to be a statue. We are waiting to appoint an artist who can define and scope what that design will look like.
“We know that we definitely want a bridge to connect the island back to the park and then we want some kind of contemporary art work that inspires education and creativity.”