The Mandela Project Spotlights Initiatives That Are Making A Difference Mandela-Style

The five-part docuseries celebrates the anti-apartheid freedom fighter and former South African president.

South African former President Nelson Mandela greets voters at a polling station in Johannesburg dur...

Mandela Day is an annual celebration on July 18 that pays tribute to the legacy of anti-apartheid activist and former South African president Nelson Mandela. This year, YouTube has announced a new five-part documentary series spotlighting organisations and projects who are keeping Mandela’s legacy of social change alive. Here’s everything you need to know about the enlightening new show.

What Is The Mandela Project About?

Nine years after the death of Nelson Mandela, The Mandela Project will pay tribute to the legacy of the South African anti-apartheid activist, who served as the country’s first Black head of state. Born in 1918, Mandela trained as a lawyer before committing to overthrow the racist National Party, who introduced apartheid (a system of segregation which denied Black South Africans and South Africans of Colour basic human rights) in the country. Mandela’s anti-apartheid activism saw him jailed for 27 years for “conspiring to overthrow the state”. Mandela was released in 1990 and, four years later, stood for leader for the African National Congress party and became South Africa’s first fully-democratically elected president.

As reported by Deadline, The Mandela Project will focus on organisations and projects inspired by Mandela’s legacy, and is one of five new original projects commissioned as part of YouTube’s Black Voices Fund. “Our upcoming projects highlight important stories and raise impactful voices to not only educate and entertain our audiences, but to also inspire meaningful change,” said Nadine Zylstra, the Global Head of YouTube Originals.

The Mandela Project Cast

Across five episodes, a selection of public figures will shine a spotlight on the work of different projects from the UK, US, or South Africa, all inspired by the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela. As well as London musician and chef Big Zuu, the series also features French footballing legend Patrice Evra, Blackish actor Marsai Martin, football freestyler Jeremy Lynch, former Miss South Africa and Miss Universe winner Zozibini Tunzi and Bel-Air’s Jabari Banks. Meanwhile, Mandela’s grandson Ndaba shares memories, anecdotes and previously unheard stories about his grandfather.

The Mandela Project Release Date

The five-part documentary series airs on BET‘s YouTube channel on July 18 – to coincide with this year’s Mandela Day. The annual celebration takes place on Nelson Mandela’s birthday, and is held to honour the legacy of the South African anti-apartheid activist, who died in 2013 aged 95.