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Nelson Mandela: Kadir Nelson on painting New Yorker cover

Nelson Mandela’s health had deteriorated in recent years and the world had been preparing for his death long before this week’s announcement finally came.

The New Yorker magazine commissioned African-American artist Kadir Nelson to paint a portrait of the South African prisoner-turned-president for its next edition.

Nelson, who has written and illustrated children’s books on the lives of Mandela as well as Martin Luther King Jr, chose to depict him as a young man on trial.

“He was clearly a leader,” Kadir said. “I wanted to make a simple and bold statement about Mandela and his life as a freedom fighter.”