EMMA Lifetime Achievement 2000 Despite many years in jail, Nelson Mandela emerged to become the country's first black president, playing a leading role in the drive for peace and is revered worldwide as a vital force in the fight for human rights and racial equality. His lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. Nelson Mandela led the struggle to replace the apartheid regime of South Africa with a multi-racial democracy; he joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1943, first as an activist, then as the founder and president of the ANC Youth League. Eventually, after years in prison, he also served as its president. Mr Mandela qualified as a lawyer and played a pivotal role in the rebirth of a stagnant ANC. He campaigned against apartheid, one of the most powerful and effective systems of coercion ever devised by the all-white National Party that oppressed the black majority. After growing resistance to the apartheid laws, the government outlawed the ANC in 1960 and Nelson Mandela went into hiding as an underground leader. Nelson MandelaTension with the apartheid regime grew, and soared to new heights in 1960 when 69 black people were shot dead by police in the Sharpeville massacre. It was the end of peaceful resistance and Mr Mandela, already National Vice-President of the ANC, launched a campaign to disrupt the country's economy. He was eventually arrested and charged with sabotage and attempting to violently overthrow the government. Conducting his own defence, Mr Mandela used the stand to convey his beliefs about democracy, freedom and equality. "I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities," he said. "It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die." In the winter of 1964, he was sentenced to life in prison. He remained in prison on Robben Island for 18 years before being transferred to Pollsmoor Prison on the mainland in 1982. In 1980, Nelson Mandela’s partner in law, Mr Tambo, who was in exile, launched an international campaign to release Mr Mandela. The world community tightened the sanctions first imposed on South Africa in 1967 against the apartheid regime. The pressure produced results, and in 1990, President F.W. de Klerk lifted the ban on the ANC, and Mr Mandela was released from prison. Nelson MandelaReleased on 11 February 1990, Mandela plunged wholeheartedly into his life's work, striving to attain the goals he and others had set out almost four decades earlier. In 1991, at the first National Conference of the ANC held inside South Africa after being banned for decades, Nelson Mandela was elected President of the ANC while his lifelong friend and colleague, Oliver Tambo, became the organisation's National Chairperson. Nelson Mandela has never waivered in his devotion to democracy, equality and learning. Despite extreme provocation, he has never answered racism with racism. His life has been an inspiration, in South Africa, and throughout the world, to all who are oppressed and deprived, to all who are opposed to oppression and deprivation. In a life that symbolises the triumph of the human spirit over man’s inhumanity, Nelson Mandela accepted the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of all South Africans who suffered and sacrificed so much to bring peace their land. In 1994, for the first time in South Africa's history, all races voted in democratic elections and Mr Mandela was elected president. The ANC won 252 of the 400 seats in the national assembly. On 23 July 2004, the city of Johannesburg bestowed its highest honour on Mandela by granting him the freedom of the city at a ceremony in Orlando, Soweto. Nelson MandelaNelson Mandela handed over the Presidency in 1997. Mr Mandela divorced his wife of over thirty years, Winnie Madikizela, in 1996. Two years later, on Mandela's 80th birthday, he wed his 52-year-old companion, Graca Machel, the widow of the former president of Mozambique, in a private ceremony at his home in Johannesburg, South Africa. Since his retirement in 1999, Mandela turned his attention to international diplomacy, travelling the world, meeting leaders, attending conferences and acting as an ambassador for peace and equality. He convinced Libya to hand over two suspects for trial in the Lockerbie airplane bombing, and he played a role in the Burundi peace process. Sadly, in 2005 Mandela's son, Makgatho Mandela, 54, died of an AIDS-related illness. South Africa has about five million HIV/AIDS patients -- more than any other country. Mr Mandela has continually argued that whatever global issues demand attention, HIV and AIDS is an overriding priority to be tackled, a message he reaffirmed at the International AIDS Conference in Bangkok in July 2004. Nelson Mandela with Congressman EngelMandela was the driving force behind a worldwide music-led campaign to raise global awareness about HIV/AIDS. Pulling in major international celebrities and corporations, the 46664 (Mandela’s former prison number) Campaign kicked off in October 2003 with a ground-breaking music launch on the Internet and phone networks around the world, followed by an all-star concert in South Africa in November 2003. Mr Mandela, though 86 and increasingly frail, continues to mount a highly public crusade against the AIDS epidemic devastating South Africa. Through the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, set up in 1995, the iconic anti-apartheid leader is on the front line, fighting the disease with AIDS education, health care and support programmes. These are supported by community-based organisations and government; providing a care model for children affected by AIDS deaths, and now reaches over 150,000 of these children.
Lord Richard Attenborough was the first person to inform the world in large about apartheid and the problems it had caused in South Africa with his film, Cry Freedom (1987). Having devoted his life to fighting racism and prejudice, Attenborough's career as an actor, director, producer and human rights campaigner has spanned some 60 years. He is one of the world's great communicators, and has used his films to educate and move audiences with his compassionate and beautiful storytelling whilst tackling important issues. This is particularly evident in his film Cry Freedom. The film tells the story of South African journalist, Donald Woods, who is forced to flee the country after attempting to investigate the murder of his friend, black activist Steve Biko. It is now widely accepted that the film encouraged the introduction of economic sanctions that eventually contributed to a change in the South African government. Attenborough directed the cinematic classic Gandhi (1982). In 1984 Lord Richard Attenborough was awarded the Martin Luther King Peace Prize for his work in combating racism. He has also received India's Padma Bhusan award. He is a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF. With films like Ghandi and Cry Freedom, he has shown he has no fear in tackling big issues and his determination to do so has had enormous impact on the world. He won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of the regimental Sergeant Major in Guns at Batasi (1964). One of Attenborough's most notable film roles was as Squadron Leader, Roger Bartlett ("Big X"), the head of the escape committee, in The Great Escape (1963). As of September 2006, he is one of only three surviving major stars of the film, the others being James Garner and David McCallum. In 1967 and 1968, he won back-to-back Golden Globe Awards in the category of Best Supporting Actor. The first time for The Sand Pebbles, starring Steve McQueen, and the second time for Doctor Dolittle starring Rex Harrison. He would win another Golden Globe for Best Director, for Gandhi, in 1983. He is also known for his role as the eccentric developer, John Hammond in Jurassic Park (1993), Steven Spielberg's screen version of Michael Crichton's bestseller. This was his first acting role in nearly 14 years. He also had memorable roles in the 1994 remake of Miracle on 34th Street, as Kris Kringle, and the 1998 historical drama Elizabeth, as Sir William Cecil. Early in his stage career, Attenborough starred in the London West End production of Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap, which went on to become one of the world's longest running stage productions. Both he and his wife were among the original cast members of the production, which opened in 1952 and as of 2006 is still running. In 1967, he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). He was knighted in 1976 and in 1993 he was made a life peer as Baron Attenborough, of Richmond upon Thames. On 13 July 2006, Attenborough, along with his brother David, were awarded the titles of Distinguished Honorary Fellows of the University of Leicester "in recognition of a record of continuing distinguished service to the University." Passionate about people and helping others, through Richard’s commitment, energy, passion and determination he has brought serious human rights issues to the global conscience in an entertaining and enlightening way.
Thank you for honoring me the Ethnic Multicultural Media Award for Lifetime Achievement. It is an award I share with all ethnic communities, who have striven to surpass their obstacles and achieve their dreams. As in the United States, Britain is lucky to draw from the talents of a community rich in ethnic diversity. The vital cultural contributions by people of African, Asian, West Indian and Middle Eastern descent are integral to the progress of British culture and business at large.
This EMMA Lifetime Achievement Award is an institution in itself. The Achievement Award has been won by my hero Nelson Mandela, by Muhammad Ali, by Maya Angelou, by Ray Charles, by Stevie Wonder, by Lord Attenborough, it’s an Award now so prestigious and so valued that all of these great men and women have travelled here to receive their presentation in person and to speak to us.