Mandela's Shadow Boxer Statue

Landmarks / Memorials in or near Johannesburg Central, Johannesburg in Gauteng, South Africa.

Gauteng Tourist AttractionsMandela's Shadow Boxer Statue

Where? Jeppe Magistates Court, 225 Market Street, Johannesburg

Overnight? Stay in Johannesburg Central, in Gauteng

Unveiled at the time that Mandela lay fighting a lung infection in hospital in 2013, the painted mild steel sculpture, known simply as Shadow Boxing, is a 6 metre-high depiction, inspired by a famous photograph by Drum photographer Bob Gosani, of Mandela as a young, amateur boxer.

The sculpture is multi-faceted, made up of layers of painted metal sheets and fascinating to see as it is at once two and three-dimensional. It stands directly in front of the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court and the artist, Cianfanelli, has spoken about the idea of boxing as a metaphor for the legal system.

He is probably referring to Mandela's quote about boxing: "I did not enjoy the violence of boxing so much as the science of it. I was intrigued by how one moved one’s body to protect oneself, how one used a strategy both to attack and retreat, how one paced oneself over a match".

Below the statue are further words by Mandela: “In the ring, rank, age, colour, and wealth are irrelevant”. Cianfanelli, famous for his other depiction of Mandela at the capture site in KwaZulu-Natal, added red to the statue as way to emphasise the sculpture and to tie in with the colour used on Chancellor House.

The unusual sculpture is further described by Cianfanelli as a 'pop play on Warhol's gun slinging Elvis Presley'. It also celebrates the life and work of the photographer, Bob Gosani, at the same time. It is an unusual piece that captures Mandela the boxer, rather than his political figure

Shadow Boxing was commissioned by the Johannesburg Development Agency and the City of Johannesburg.

Why not overnight? Find Accommodation in Johannesburg Central

Troyeville Hotel


Troyeville Hotel

Troyeville Hotel offers lovely accommodation in the area of Troyville, Johannesburg. These comfortable and modern suites ... more

Mapungubwe Hotel Apartments

Hotel / Self Catering

Mapungubwe Hotel Apartments

Mapungubwe is a luxury four- star hotel with contemporary African design and décor. Top class facilities include 91 ... more

Doveton House

Guest House

Doveton House

Doveton House offers comfortable accommodation in the popular area of Parktown, Johannesburg. All rooms are offered on a ... more

©Unauthorised use of the
photos is strictly prohibited. has been assisting travellers with their South Africa travel plans since 1999, and is the largest online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German. © 1999-2016. All Rights Reserved. Find and book hotels and accommodation in South Africa. Sitemap