Mandela shirts

Image: @AbdulsatarBoch1 / Twitter

WATCH: 100 Mandela shirts and personal items go on auction in New York

Tata Mandela’s shirts are as iconic as his political legacy and personality. The shirts are part of 100 items going on auction in New York.

Mandela shirts

Image: @AbdulsatarBoch1 / Twitter

The late Nelson Mandela’s 100 shirts and personal belongings will be up for grabs in New York. The auction event, which will take place in December at the famed Guernsey’s house, is expected to collect serious money.

The Mandela family will use the funds to open a memorial garden near their home in Mthatha.


Makaziwe Mandela confirmed that the family has reached the decision to auction the items to generate funds that will help realise the late icon’s dream.

Mandela had the personal vision of a memorial garden created near his home in the village of Qunu, Eastern Cape. The same site will serve as a leading tourist attraction in the province.

“When people come and visit they have to actually deal with their own issues that they have, not just in terms of racism, but also personal issues,” Makaziwe Mandela said.

“When they finish walking the garden they should actually have a sense of what lesson can I take from Nelson Mandela’s life that I take home with me.”


While many of Tata’s shirts will be at Guernsey’s auction house on 11 December, an additional amount of the prized items have already debuted at the New York Fashion Institute of Technology’s museum.

The museum’s deputy director, Patricia Mears, underlined the depth of the clothing items shirts. They should not just be targeted to impress peers and strangers for their look and style.

“The Madiba shirts are much more than a fashion statement. They are about our entire world, how we view the world, how we want to advance our society and our cultures,” said Mears.

“And so again, this is a statement way beyond just being about personal enhancement. It is saying something about how we can change the world through dress.”

Included in the 100 Mandela auction items is a high-value letter he penned 45 years ago while the world icon was still incarcerated in the Western Cape.

“You can see how patiently he wrote this out. And then here is the stamp from Robben Island prison. The letter was written to the commanding officer of Robben Island Prison.”