PPC is honouring the centenary of Former President Nelson Mandela’s birth by supporting an innovative art project that aims to take his ideas literally out onto the streets. Conceived by artist Erhardt Thiel, the iMadiba project aims to create public spaces across South Africa that encourage dialogue between all citizens by providing a place to sit and have conversations.
The iMadiba project aims to stimulate conversations for action and for change within the numerous micro museums that are being built using the exact measurements of Nelson Mandela’s Robben Island prison cell.
The third installation of this project was unveiled at the JSE building in Sandton. The plan is to install 100 such micro museums during Madiba’s centenary.
“We were attracted by Erhardt’s vision because it combines the practical—providing a place to sit and talk—with a bigger idea about promoting dialogue and advocacy, memory and legacy,” says Daniel van der Merwe, Innovation Architect: PPC Southern Africa. “PPC is all about going beyond, making ideas real and helping people live better lives, and we felt this was a great way to make a key part of Madiba’s legacy concrete—so to speak.”
PPC donated the readymix concrete used to construct this public-space furniture. The company’s involvement began with the casting of the Robben Island Gateway installation at the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town in June.
“iMadiba is different from other initiatives because it is for every member of the public and captures one of Madiba’s strong ideas about people communicating with one another in order to foster a spirit of trust and understanding,” says artist, Erhardt Thiel.
For PPC, the project fits in well with its own 100-plus years of going beyond building South Africa’s infrastructure to create a better country and society for all. In similar vein, PPC has been involved for the past three years with the Tshwane Cool Capital initiative. During this time, the PPC Bench Project has placed more than 26 benches in public spaces across the city.
“The iMadiba installations provide a place where people can sit and think, or interact with each other, in a public space that is designed to remind us of Madiba’s legacy and set us thinking about how to carry his ideas into the future,” concludes Mr Van der Merwe.