MADIBA   (TV - 2017 )

ROLE: Prime Minister Dr. H.F. Verwoerd

GENRE:  Six-hour mini-series on BET

COUNTRY:  Canada

AIRED:  February 1, 8 and 15, 2017


Madiba tells the most personal and comprehensive story of Mandela’s life, focusing on the man and his innermost thoughts and fears as he fought and sacrificed for freedom to become an international icon. It starts with his humble beginnings as a young rural boy to his election as the first Black President of South Africa. While many recognize Mandela as the face of the Anti-Apartheid Movement, this mini-series also pays homage to the many lesser known men and women who sacrificed and suffered alongside of him in South Africa’s quest for freedom. Michael plays Dr. H.F. Verwoerd, the prime minister of Apartheid-era South Africa from 1958 until his assassination in 1966.

Film Details

Nelson Mandela - Laurence Fishburne
Olando Jones - Oliver Tambo
David Harewood - Walter Sisulu
Michael Nyqvist - Dr. H.F. Verwoerd
Terry Pheto - Winnie Mandela

* * * * *

Director - Kevin Hooks

Script - Paul Webb, Jane Maggs, Janine Eser and
Kathleen McGhee-Anderson

Based on two Mandela autobiographies, "Conversations with Mandela" and "Nelson Mandela by Himself"

Six 52-minute episodes

Production Notes:
Filming took place in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa, and on Robben Island, beginning April 2016. Retitled "Mandela - en kamp för frihet" for Swedish distribution.

Publicity Stills



"Tracing Mandela’s life from childhood to his inauguration as South Africa’s first black head of state, it’s a by-the-numbers biopic, taking a straight line through history that doesn’t allow for much complexity or uncertainty. The director, Kevin Hooks, and his director of photography, Trevor Calverley, have put together a handsome but static production, in which an awful lot of time is spent sitting around and talking — in meeting halls, safe houses, prisons and government offices. They’re saddled with a script that’s reverent without being inspirational, and that prefers explanation to action."   ...Mike Hale, NY Times

"Laurence Fishburne brings the necessary steadiness to the role despite also conveying heartbreaking sadness, tenacious fervor and calculation. It is this unshakeable core belief in what’s right that keeps Mandela on the path and keeps followers loyal, even when he was imprisoned. Somehow, despite obvious physical differences, Fishburne channels the spirit of Mandela well. Backing him is an equally strong supporting cast."   ...Hanh Nguyen, Indiewire

"'Madiba' covers a great deal of ground. Perhaps inevitably, that makes the story disjointed in places, as it shifts from Mandela's claustrophobic confinement to the government violently tamping down protests to the emergence of new leaders like Steve Biko. Ultimately, though, 'Madiba' is inspiring and ambitious in both its casting and subject matter."    ...Brian Lowry, CNN

"'Madiba' is a moving and beautifully rendered look at the man who was the face of the anti-apartheid movement, and it wisely gets past his face and into his mind. Mandela’s public persona is well known. What he accomplished is well known. 'Madiba' is a fascinating portrait of the tensions between the two: Mandela’s inner world and the external world he fought to change."  ...Amy Glynn, Paste Magazine

"'Madiba' is the kind of miniseries that can compete with almost anything on cable, network TV and streaming services this season... My biggest complaint is that the script is so linear and conventional in terms of the storytelling — especially at a time when TV writing has become increasingly imaginative and daring."  ...David Zurawik, Baltimore Sun