Will Smith Pens a Touching Tribute to the Late Nelson Mandela on What Would Have Been His 102nd B-Day

Gracious Egedegbe
Jul 22, 2020
03:00 P.M.
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Veteran actor Will Smith recently took to his Instagram page to share a throwback picture of himself and the late renowned political activist Nelson Mandela. 


Iconic actor Will Smith has been the center of media attention and social media gossip for the last couple of weeks over the "entanglement" situation in his marriage.

However, on Friday, July 18, the "Men In Black" star shrugged off the drama as he took time to celebrate the late Nelson Mandela with a lengthy tribute, on the day he was born. 

Will Smith attends the Premiere Of Netflix's "Bright" at Regency Village Theatre on December 13, 2017. | Image: Getty Images


Smith took to his Instagram page to share a throwback picture of his first meeting with Mandela, who was fondly known as "Madiba." In the picture, the iconic actor can be seen wearing a blue shirt paired with a headband. 

Smith could be seen with a bright smile as he posed alongside the highly respected first black President of South Africa. In the caption, the talented actor penned down a glowing tribute in honor of Mandela. He wrote:

"...He is one of the greatest Heroes of my life.⁣ I was so inspired! I told him I wanted to quit my job. I wanted to follow him and go out into the streets...⁣" 


Will Smith also revealed how his first meeting with Mandela had a profound impact on his life. The actor claimed the current state of things in the world had called him to action, just like Madiba, and he is ready to "humbly, gratefully and aggressively" respond to the "call."

Smith talking about what is happening in the world today is hinged on the continuous social injustice and racial discrimination suffered by African American in the United States. 

Will Smith led a long list of celebrities who thrilled over 50,000 fans in a concert organized in Mandela's honor.


Following the deaths of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks in May and June respectively, Smith has been very vocal in his support for the Black Lives Matter movement and the widespread call for police reforms.

During a recent interview, Smith talked about how rife racial prejudice was during his early years in Philadelphia. He claimed the police in Philly operated with impunity, and he was called the N-word by cops on more than ten occasions.


The 49-year-old actor, who has never previously starred in a film about slavery, would be featured in the movie "Emancipation," which is the true story of an escaped slave, Peter, who joins the Union army.

Speaking on why he decided to feature on such a project now, he said it was about understanding the reality of where one came from.

Despite his massively successful career, Will Smith has flirted with the idea of becoming President over the years, and given he has been a success at everything he has ventured into, he is likely to actualize his political dreams.


Before then, Smith will continue to draw inspiration from one of the greatest heroes of his life. The actor has a profound respect for the iconic world leader, which dates back many years.

In 2008, Will Smith led a long list of celebrities who thrilled over 50,000 fans in a concert organized in Mandela's honor at London's Hyde Park. The show was a tribute in recognition of the great works of the elder African statesman. 

Nelson Mandela remains the greatest uniting figure to come out of the African continent, and his life continues to be a strong influence on not just Will Smith but millions of people across the world.