Benny Gool is a South African photojournalist who was privileged to chronicle the life of Nelson Mandela – in public and private – over three momentous decades. His archive contains tens of thousands of images that combine to narrate the uniquely inspirational story of one of history’s most respected and compelling icons.
Gool’s life work is a time capsule that reflects a defining era in world history and will echo on its pages for centuries to come. It documents not only one man’s walk to freedom but also that of a nation. It was a journey that Gool was intimately qualified to document.
It was in the guise of an anti-apartheid and human rights activist that he first picked up a camera to begin documenting the injustices of a divided nation. He went on to capture the inexorable and stirring transition to democracy, the tumultuous truth and reconciliation process, and South Africa’s “homecoming” as a respected member of the global community.
The catalyst was one man – Mandela – and through Gool’s camera we are taken on that man’s journey from incarceration to beloved and inspiring world leader. The archive contains the memorable, the historic, the intimate and the cherished. And throughout, it captures the infectious humor, grace and humanity that Mandela indelibly stamped on our lives.
Gool’s mirror on the man of our times has attracted photographic and journalistic acclaim. His images are sought after by publishers the world over.