The daughter of Nelson Mandela has called for people to fight against a “resurgence in emphasising difference”, as she visited the site where a memorial will be built in his honour.
The former South African president’s eldest daughter Dr Makaziwe, or Maki, Mandela and his granddaughter Tukwini Mandela visited Liverpool on Monday to see the site where a permanent memorial will be built.
Addressing community members and schoolchildren in Princes Park, Toxteth, Dr Mandela, 65, said: “I think that the memorial garden that is going to happen here should be a reminder to all of us that we all have it in our hands to change the world, it’s not a single person who can change the world.
“We are different but in our differences there is unity, there is camaraderie amongst all of us.”
She added: “Unless we are free all over the world, none of us are.
“At this point, where there is a resurgence of emphasising difference around the world, I think we need to fight very hard so that we don’t roll back the gains that have been made so far.
“The future doesn’t lie in us fighting amongst each other, the future for this planet lies in us collaborating and working with each other across boundaries, across ages, across racial differences. That’s the future of this world.”
In a ceremony to mark the start of work on the memorial, which will include a Freedom Bridge across the lake, a pavilion and 32 cylindrical stoneworks inscribed with Mandela’s quotes, Dr Mandela said the family was “humbled” to see him remembered five years after his death.
The event was held on the 29th anniversary of Mandela’s release from prison.
Lynn Collins, former chairwoman of Mandela 8, the charity which commissioned the memorial, said: “Today we are finally here, marking the start of the next phase, laying the foundations and sharing Mandela’s message with the next generation and building a true legacy for a man that provided inspiration to us all.”
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “What today is about is about making sure that his legacy, his lifelong battle and lifelong fight for justice and equality for everybody means that we will have a lasting memorial here right in the heart of Liverpool 8.”
Dr Mandela and her daughter are due to spend three days in Liverpool where they will visit a number of community projects, and will be guests of honour at civic reception in the town hall.
On Tuesday, Dr Mandela will meet the Prince of Wales as he visits St George’s Hall, where a set of Mandela’s drawings are on permanent display.