An NFT version of the arrest warrant for Nelson Mandela, well-known as an anti-apartheid icon, was sold in an auction for $130K. It follows the trend of using non-fungible tokens to fund humanitarian causes and give to charity. The proceeds from the auction will be used to fund a failing South African museum on their apartheid history. This is just after NFTs were also used to help causes in Ukraine by their government.
Nelson Mandela NFT Sold in Auction
An NFT depicting the arrest warrant for Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid icon and the first democratic, black President of South Africa, was sold at $130,550 or 1.9 million Rand at an auction.
The reserve price in Cape Town was $61,800 or 900,000 Rand, but the NFT sold much higher through an online buyer. It was reported that the buyer is a foreigner based in the United Arab Emirates.
Just like with cryptocurrencies, selling art as NFTs use the same technology. The buyer was given a verified digital token that shows that the artwork is genuine. The sale of the NFT is considered very important in South Africa because of the relevance of Nelson Mandela to their history.
Nelson Mandela is known to have been arrested on the 5th of August, 1962, and jailed for 27 years. He was initially arrested in 1961 for treason before being imprisoned again for traveling out of the country without a permit and inciting strikes and protests. He was then released on the 11th of February, 1990, and became the first black President of South Africa. The original document is being kept in the museum, which will now stay, thanks to the proceeds from the auction, afloat.
Proceeds Will Go To South African Museum
According to the CEO of Momint, Ahren Posthumus, ‘Proceeds for the Mandela NFT will go to Liliesleaf museum, to keep their doors open and stay afloat.’ Momint is the digital auctioneer that handled the sale of the NFT.
He also added that the museum had been adversely affected because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism. The sale of the NFT is expected to keep them going and protect South African history.
In September 2021, Liliesleaf Museum closed down because it was experiencing financial difficulties due to the challenges brought by the pandemic. It is a museum dedicated to preserving the history of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa, which Nelson Mandela is very significant.
The original document of Mandela’s arrest has existed since 1961. It is handwritten in English and Afrikaans, with staple holes on the side. It has also clearly aged and is now yellow and crumbling on the edges. The document has been stored in Liliesleaf Farm heritage site archives in Johannesburg since 2006, according to Nicholas Wolpe, the founder of the Liliesleaf Farm museum.
When commenting on the use of NFTs to help the museum, Wolpe stated, ‘This is really a unique and novel way of generating income.’
The family is historically popular for serving as the secret headquarters and main control center of the African National Congress, which was banned. This was between 1961 and 1963. The farm is located in an upscale Johannesburg suburb, and the ANC led the struggle against apartheid and segregation.
It is also known for being significant to Mandela because the President hid there for a while, pretending to work on the farm. He later left to travel abroad and raise funds.
NFTs to Support Humanitarian Goals
The use of NFTs for humanitarian causes is nothing new, as there have also been uses of non-fungible tokens and cryptocurrency to raise funds in Ukraine. After Ukraine was invaded by Russia, the small country decided to use more unique methods of raising funds to protect themselves, and they received over $100 million in the form of cryptocurrencies.
The leaders of Ukraine have also announced that they will be portraying the war in the form of NFTs. True to their words, they founded an NFT museum with the aim of celebrating identity and freedom in Ukraine.
The museum features the most memorable events of the war and is collecting donations to assist locals in Ukraine. As time goes on, it is expected to see NFTs being used in more and more charitable causes.