Regarded as one of South Africa’s greatest leaders, former president Nelson Mandela’s image will now show on a series of bank notes. President Jacob Zuma, along with his Governor of Reserve Bank, Gill Marcus, proudly made the announcement Saturday on the 22nd anniversary of Mandela’s prison release. “With this humble gesture we are expressing our deep gratitude, as the South African people, to a life spent in service of the people of this country and in the cause of humanity worldwide,” Zuma said. He added that Mandela’s 27-year imprisonment to end apartheid "marked the beginning of a new era of hope for our country and the world.”
The 93-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner’s silhouette is pictured in five different colors on 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 rands. Shown right after his release from prison in 1990, this monumental moment represented the fall of apartheid and rise of a new democratic nation. Mandela is the second person ever to be pictured on notes after Jan van Riebeeck, the Dutch colonial founder of Cape Town. The bills will be released this fall.
Should the United States consider honoring our leaders through similar gestures?