Waxwork model of Nelson Mandela by Dorset artist Mike Wade arrives in South Africa

Dorset Echo: Mike at work on the project Mike at work on the project

A WAXWORK model of Nelson Mandela created by a West Dorset artist has pride of place in the hero’s family home in South Africa.

Mike Wade, a wax sculptor who has previously worked at Madame Tussauds, was commissioned by a company acting on behalf of the Mandela family to create the sculpture.

The wax model of Mandela that Mr Wade created is now at the icon’s grandson’s home in Pretoria, and will also go on tour around South Africa to schools and colleges.

Mr Wade personally dealt with the family on numerous occasions and the company acting on their behalf to make sure the model was an exact likeness to the South African hero.

Mr Wade, who previously worked as a sculptor at Madame Tussauds, said: “I felt a bit nervous making it for his family.

“It was very hard because as it neared completion, there were a lot of time restrictions as the family wanted it as soon as possible, which made finishing it off difficult.

“But, I personally am very pleased with it and it has received great feedback from Mr Mandela’s family as well.

“I received a text from his grandson two weeks ago saying that the whole family really liked it. I felt really honoured to make it for them though – it was amazing, he is one of the modern greats and is truly an iconic figure.”

The freedom fighter lost his fight for life on Thursday, December 5 at 6.50pm after a long battle with a lung infection and passed away peacefully surrounded by his family at his Johannesburg home.

His funeral is due to be held on Sunday and there was a commemoration service held in South Africa attended by world leaders such as Barack Obama and David Cameron on Tuesday.

The model took Mr Wade a few months to complete, and was only sent out to the Mandela family in South Africa towards the end of November.

Nelson Mandela’s family also sent over Mr Mandela’s actual clothes to adorn the model, with the famous gold shiny shirt he wore when he met the Queen included for Mr Wade to put on his creation.

Mr Wade added: “It was quite surreal really, because his family told me that it was one of his favourite shirts and I had seen the pictures of him meeting with the Queen with it on.”

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