“Descendant of tribal royalty, prisoner, president, Nobel laureate – Nelson Mandela was all these, yet he was a dignified and humble man. His struggle against apartheid inspired hope; his victory triggered a global celebration; his death, in 2013, brought millions to tears.
“Our stamp was designed with a photograph by Yousuf Karsh, taken on Mandela’s first visit to Canada in 1990. As the story goes, the future president had just arrived at the Château Laurier in Ottawa, exhausted from a long flight. Sensing the need for some levity, Karsh, who was known for his wit, told him that he had recently photographed Pope John Paul II, and had casually asked him how many people worked at the Vatican. “About half of them,” replied the pontiff. Mandela broke into the warm laugh captured by Karsh.”