His struggle for freedom and equality has touched people around the world. Now, a new exhibition chronicles Nelson Mandela's easy charm and appeal through some rarely seen before photos taken by South African photojournalist Benny Gool, who covered Mandela's public and private life for more than 30 years. SOUNDBITE: Photojournalist Benny Gool saying (English): "I guess I think that what you want from displaying work around somebody like this is to be able to let people see and learn and try to emulate almost his life." The exhibit includes photographs of Mandela taken with the Dalai Lama, Princess Diana and pop star Michael Jackson. But it is the photograph of Mandela with 13-year-old Willem Venter (pron: Villem Fenter), taken in 1997, that is Gool's favorite. SOUNDBITE: Photojournalist Benny Gool saying (English): "If you know the story of South Africa, you would know the tension between Afrikaners and black people. And we were on this train called the Blue Train which was quite a posh train in South Africa and it was the first time Mandela had embarked on a train trip. …. we got a call to say there was a little Afrikaner boy on the platform and he was blind and he just wanted to touch Madiba's face. And of course, the train pulled up, and Madiba got out, and just stood in front of this boy and this boy was just touching his face. Quite a magic moment." "MADIBA - Images of Nelson Mandela" is the first exhibition of Gool's photographs of the esteemed leader. The show opens at the POP International Galleries in Manhattan on February 13th.
Feb 13 - Three decades of Nelson Mandela's life captured by South African photojournalist Benny Gool are on exhibit in New York. Sharon Reich reports. ( Transcript )
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