THE recently-released limited edition of bank notes and coins to mark celebrated late South African leader Nelson Mandela’s 100th birth anniversary were designed by a Zimbabwean — Sindiso Nyoni.
Nyoni — also known as R!OT — is a Bulawayo native, born and raised in the western second capital of Zimbabwe.
The set of bank notes and gold coins was launched last Friday.
The South African Reserve Bank said the notes depict Mandela’s life, including his upbringing in rural Eastern Cape as the son of a chief, his 27-year incarceration and the end of apartheid in 1994, when he became president.
He died in 2013 aged 95.
The launch forms part of events across the world, culminating in an annual Mandela Day lecture by former United States president Barack Obama in South Africa.
Nyoni — whose work includes stinging rebukes of Zimbabwe’s deposed former president Robert Mugabe — designed the etching on the one-ounce gold coin of a smiling middle-aged Mandela with his hair parted down the middle.
The independent graphic artist is based in Johannesburg, South Africa, and has done work for big brands such as Adidas, Nike and Kaiser Chiefs.
“Growing up and living most of my life under a dictatorship, we were not able to experience this feeling of democracy that South Africans have,” Nyoni said.
Mandela’s face already graces all of South Africa’s banknotes. — With wires