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Published: 18 April 2020

By Andy Ross

Article of the Week - number eleven

Each week an item from the collection in the studio is featured. This time it is a piece of South African history.

In 1994 the first democratic elections were held in South Africa, an election in which everyone who was eligible to vote could do so no matter what race. There had been considerable preparation for this historic event, starting with the unbanning of parties four years previously and, as part of the preparations, canvassing for votes also took place. 

The African National Congress, the party which finally came to power in South Africa, had Nelson Mandela as their candidate. As is common across Africa, cotton fabrics were printed with electioneering slogans and the candidate's face was emblazoned on lengths which were sold for use as wraps and dresses. This particular piece of cloth comes from those tumultous and historic times, urging people to Vote for Nelson Mandela, "The People's Choice".