Naomi Campbell Once Flew 70 People Out to South Africa to Meet Nelson Mandela
Naomi Campbell is a philanthropist in addition to being one of the biggest supermodels of all time and a fixture in the entertainment industry. She has dedicated time and money for decades throughout the African continent and has always strived to help the people there with the help of local leaders — including the great South African apartheid fighter Nelson Mandela.
Naomi Campbell wanted 70 of her friends to meet Nelson Mandela
Campbell first met “Tata” — one of Mandela’s many nicknames — in the late 1990s, and she was so moved that she knew she had to share his wisdom firsthand with her friends. She described the experience in an interview with AMAKA Studio.
“Meeting Tata, the late president Nelson Mandela, for me, is an experience that I can only share with you. And I did share with a lot of my friends,” she recounted. “When I met him, I was like, ‘I want everyone to meet him.’ So I took 78 people from New York City — hair, makeup, and all the models we know — to Cape Town to meet Tata.”
“I know they will never forget it,” she said proudly. “That’s how I am: I want to share as well as connect and communicate.”
Naomi Campbell learned many lessons from Nelson Mandela
Campbell was moved when she was asked what she learned from the late South African president. “So many things,” Campbell smiled. “Sometimes it wasn’t that he even spoke; sometimes it was that he didn’t speak.” She felt his energy when he would hold her hand at the dinner table and absorbed everything he said as well as every little thing he did.
“He taught me so many things: how to use myself, how to help others,” she continued. “I’d say ‘Tata, I’m not your perfect person, I’ve got my issues.’ He didn’t care. He never judged me. It was, ‘Use yourself to help others.'”
“And he let me see how he did it — how he humbly did it with so many people around the world,” she added of his character.
Nelson Mandela motivates Naomi Campbell to this day
Campbell takes many of the lessons she learned from Mandela with her to this day, namely the motivation to do good in the world.
“When he left on the 5th of December, 2013, I cried. I mourned. But the week later, I got this kick of a drive,” Campbell admitted.
“He was in my life for a reason.”