BET‘s three-day miniseries Madiba, chronicling the life of iconic South African freedom fighter and humanitarian Nelson Mandela, debuts tonight at 8 p.m. EST. On the heels of BET’s smash miniseries The New Edition Story, Madiba stars Laurence Fishburne as Nelson Mandela, examining his rise to South Africa’s president after being imprisoned on Robben Island for daring to fight against oppression and tyranny. The 6-hour event which airs over three Wednesdays (Feb. 1, Feb. 8 and Feb. 15) also stars Orlando Jones as Oliver Tambo, David Harewood as Walter Sisilu and Terry Pheto as Winnie Mandela.
Directed by Kevin Hooks, the miniseries looks at a man whose clan name was Madiba. In South African culture, clan names are intimate names that reflect the person’s position in the community. It is given to the child by village elders as a sign of endearment and affection. Nelson is his English name given to Mandela by a teacher in school, which was customary at the time. Mandela led the fight to end Apartheid, a system of discriminatory and oppressive policies based on race in order to promote and preserve white supremacy, while oppressing black South Africans and other minorities.
In a BET interview, Laurence Fishburne says, “The story is certainly South African, but it is also universal.” Check out a sneak peek below:
Check out The Burton Wire’s photo gallery on Nelson ‘Madiba’ Mandela.
Set your DVRs for what is sure to be a compelling miniseries. Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @TheBurtonWire.