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February 2020 Meeting

February 6, 2020 @ 8:00 am - 10:30 am

Topic: A life less ordinary

How do you bring Nelson Mandela into our lives as if we were having a conversation with him? Sing with Annie Lennox or experience President Barack Obama as if we’ve met him?

There is a world out there many of us will only ever view from a distance and yet what happens in the world is important to us because it affects our attitudes, how we lead and who we inspire…

For over 22 years documentary photographer Matthew Willman has been out there working with those who in our time chose to lead and those who exist on the periphery of society.

In Willmans exciting new talk we have the opportunity to embark on a remarkable journey through enigmatic images and the power of story telling.

All of us seek improvement, all of us seek to be inspired so that on our best day we can all stand a little taller and be a little bigger.


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Matthew Willman

Guest Speaker: Matthew Willman

Matthew Willman is a South African based documentary photographer, author and public speaker. Willman has emerged as one of South Africa’s leading, young, independent artists in visual communication and heritage art. He has expressed himself through an extraordinary body of work which includes writing, storytelling and photographic exhibitions.

Willman has gained over 22 years’ experience working for some of the world’s foremost institutions in the field of visual communication, development, visual arts and leadership. A true global citizen, Willman has worked in 42 countries tailoring his inventive brand of communication to the needs of an array of clients which have included: Oxfam International, The World Health Organisation, The Nelson Mandela Foundation, The Bill Clinton Presidential Library, The Vodafone Foundation, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Centre, Robben Island Museum and The European Commission.

In 2019 Willman narrated and produced a short film documentary on the life Nelson Mandela which was nominated and won an Emmy award in the USA.

Willman has had the pleasure of being commissioned to photograph individuals from a cross-section of the global community. Private commissions include: US Presidents Barack Obama & President Bill Clinton, 6 South African Presidents, Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Annie Lennox. Others include 22 Presidents, 12 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates and a host of sports personalities, musicians, politicians and philanthropists.

Perhaps one of Willman’s greatest achievements was his significant contribution to the recording of the process of South Africa’s democratic change. This occurred both in his work as a commissioned photographer to the Nelson Mandela Foundation and through ten years working with Mr Mandela himself.  In 2003 Matthew was commissioned to archive and document the life and times of Nelson Mandela for the Nelson Mandela Foundation. Over the years this afforded him many incredibly many intimate experiences with a man who for Willman embodies the very spirit and conviction we all possess as South Africans. His collection of work is now central to the Mandela Centre of Memory & Presidential Library in Johannesburg.


February 6, 2020
8:00 am - 10:30 am
Event Category:


Tugela Room – Southern Sun Maharani Hotel
63 Snell Parade
Durban, KwaZulu Natal 4001 South Africa
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