*Photos by Nicola Muirhead

On Sunday December 15, at the Earl Cameron Theatre in City Hall, members of the community came together to commemorate the life of Nelson Mandela, with a variety of performances and readings by students, musicians, dignitaries, and other respected members of the community, such as Gene Steede who acted as the MC for the evening.


The overall message of the Mandela celebration was that of reconciliation and perseverance.

The audience was deeply moved by the speech of a ten-year-old girl, X'achela Robinson, from Saltus Grammar School. Miss Robinson was given a standing ovation, after delivering her honest and humorous depiction of a young girl's discovery of Mandela's life, and how his journey brought an end to apartheid in South Africa. She had written the entire speech on her own with a bit of wit and wisdom, and in two minutes had stolen the show.

Premier Craig Cannonier and PLP MP Dennis Lister both talked about Mandela's strength and compassion, and how his life would ultimately shake the world forever.

Cannonier and Lister relayed to the audience the importance of reconciliation in Bermuda, and pointed to a need to change old systems and perspectives, by replacing them with new and better ones.

Other memorable performances included pianist Justin Smith from CedarBridge, with his original song honouring Mandela, followed by a number of other talented musicians such as: John Woolridge, Three Kings, Gene Steede, Toni Robinson, Arlene Brock, Tony Brannon and Desta Zion Caisey. 

It was a successful closing to the weekend's celebrations, as Bermuda shared with the rest of the world the country's admiration and love for Mandela, and the legacy he has left behind.