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Nelson Mandela: The Official Exhibition launching at Leake Street 

Immersive and interactive exhibition takes visitors on a journey through the life of the world’s most iconic freedom fighter and political leader.

A major new global touring exhibition celebrating the extraordinary life and legacy of Nelson Mandela is premiering in London on 8 February, commemorating the centenary year of his birth and the fifth year since his passing.

Taking place at 26 Leake Street, a brand-new venue at Waterloo’s historic Leake Street Arches, Mandela: The Official Exhibition traces the global icon’s journey to becoming the ‘Father of South Africa’ and one of the most influential figures in modern history.

In an immersive multimedia experience, visitors are guided through a series of experiential galleries, exploring Mandela’s early years in Mvezo, his decades of turbulent struggle against the apartheid regime and eventual imprisonment, to his final years as South Africa’s first black president.

Presented in collaboration with the Royal House of Mandela, the exhibition will feature a rich selection of rare personal artefacts, many of which have never been displayed outside of South Africa. Notable items include the suit worn for the opening of the South African parliament in 1996, a traditional headdress gifted to him by The King of Xhosa people, and his signature beige trench coat.

The exhibition also includes content that roots Mandela to the UK, with Mandela choosing London as one of the first cities outside Africa to visit after his 27-year incarceration, having been home to many South African exiles and activists during the anti-apartheid struggle.

A percentage of the proceeds will go towards the Mvezo Development Trust to support economic development programs in South Africa’s Eastern Cape.

Mandela: The Official Exhibition is the inaugural exhibit to launch at 26 Leake Street, a brand-new capacity multipurpose venue underneath Waterloo station. The venue opened last year as part of the regeneration of Leake Street Arches, where LCR has created a new, vibrant restaurant and bar destination, paying homage to the area’s creative heritage.

The Arches, a network of street tunnels lying beneath the railway platforms, are a celebration of urban art, dining and entertainment, and feature London’s largest legal graffiti wall. The redevelopment of the 23,250 sq ft space, led by LCR, complements the wider regeneration taking place across Waterloo and the South Bank.

Mandela: The Official Exhibition runs from 8th February – 8th April. Find us at 26 Leake Street, Waterloo SE1 7NN. Tickets available at mandelaexhibition.com

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