What did Mandela mean to you? Leave your thoughts here

Have your say

Whether in or out of prison, Nelson Mandela was a crowd-puller.

The man dubbed the Unofficial President of the World could bring adoring crowds out onto the streets like no-one else on the planet.

Floral tributes outside South Africa House, London

Floral tributes outside South Africa House, London

Both rich and poor flocked to see him in Trafalgar Square in London in 1996.

And thousands more came to the square again when the frail statesman launched the Make Poverty History campaign nine years later.

An earlier generation, who knew him only through grainy black and white photographs, stood on the same spot for freedom vigils during his 27 years in jail.

It was a joyous, colourful scene when he stepped out on to the balcony at South Africa House in July 1996, two years after becoming South Africa’s President.

On that emotional state visit, he thanked the British people for their support in destroying apartheid.

He said: “I wish I had big pockets because I love each and everyone of you. I would like to put each and everyone of you in my pocket and return with you to South Africa.”

Mandela’s influence truly transcended generations, and we are asking : what did he mean to you?

Log in and leave your thoughts below.