Nelson Mandela's paintings depicting his time in jail will be sold as NFTs

The contrast between Nelson Mandela's little austere cell on Robben Island, where he spent 18 of his 27 years in prison, and the digital world's endless diversity could not be greater.


Nelson Mandela paintings of life in prison to be sold as NFTs
Nelson Mandela Art NFT | Image: Robben Island Cell painted by Nelson Mandela

However, the 2 will collide next month when the first non-fungible tokens (NFTs) of artwork by the former South African president and anti-apartheid hero are sold amid a booming worldwide digital art market.


My Robben Island is made up of five vibrant watercolors created by Mandela after he stepped down as president in 1999, as well as 'The Motivation', a handwritten text explaining his vision of the harsh island jail. His autograph may be found on all 6 pieces.


The Motivation by Nelson Mandela NFT
Image: The Motivation by Nelson Mandela

"It is true that Robben Island was once a place of darkness," Mandela writes in The Motivation." In addition, he says,


"But out of that darkness has come a glorious brilliance, a light so intense that it could not be hidden behind prison walls, held back behind prison bars, or boxed in by the surrounding waters... If we are willing to face life's hardships, we can attain even the most spectacular aspirations."

The former president's daughter, Makaziwe Mandela, described her father's watercolours as "the victory of the human spirit."


"When my father was on the island, he was surrounded by grey," she explained. Remember that he was given a life sentence. He never imagined he'd be able to leave prison. But the paintings tell us not to be discouraged."