The world pays tribute to Mandela (slideshow)
As South Africans come to terms with the loss of former president Nelson Mandela, the rest of the world bids farewell to Madiba.

Pimples: Saving Madiba's rabbit (video)
Gwede, Mac and Blade try their best to stop the rabbit from whispering in Mandela's ear. But the elusive animal has some tricks up its sleeve.

Zapiro's best Madiba cartoons (slideshow)
From his toughest moments to his most triumphant, Madiba has been an inspiration. Here are some of our favourite Zapiro cartoons about him from 1994 to 2013.

Mandela: SA's greatest son laid to rest (slideshow)
The world watched as Nelson Mandela was finally laid to rest in his hometown of Qunu following a dignified and moving funeral ceremony on Sunday.
Don't Miss This: Madiba the African Opera
Madiba the African Opera premiers at the Pretoria State Theatre on Friday May 23 2014. The production runs until June 1 2014.
Kutlwano Masote, Unathi Mtirara and Sibusiso Njeza from Madiba the African Opera.
Kutlwano Masote, Unathi Mtirara and Sibusiso Njeza from Madiba the African Opera.

Mandela's great nephew and chief executive of Opera South Africa, Unathi Mtirara, believed that there were many aspects of his "grandfather's" life that were being left out, so he put together stories that were personal and not well known. 

Rejecting the label of "saint" that appeared to be synonymous with Nelson Mandela, Mtirara conveys him as a man who wasn't perfect but who was still a source of moral inspiration.

In Madiba the African Opera, he is humanised. The audience gets to see the man behind the saintly façade, the man who stole mealies and cows; who, as Mandela himself pointed out, had an upbringing not dissimilar to thousands of youth in the rural areas.

Sibusiso Njeza composed the music for the opera and the orchestrator is Kutlwano Masote, both of whose outlooks resonated with Mtirara's ideals and the way in which he wanted to portray the life of Mandela.

"It was very important to find the right people to work on this opera. People who have a deep understanding of traditional music were imperative to staying true to the story, as were people who would follow the script down to the last full stop. It was important that the true story of Madiba was conveyed, because this was the main reason for the opera's existence," said Mtirara

Baritone Thabang Senekal, who made a name for himself as a member of The Black Tie Ensemble, plays the role of Nelson Mandela. Popular soprano Sibongile Mngoma takes on the role of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, while opera star Zandile Gwebityala-Mzaz portrays Madikizela-Mandela's daughter Zindzi Mandela. 

Mezzo-soprano Nonhlanhla Yende plays Nelson Mandela's mother, Noqaphi Nosekeni, and Capetonian Bongiwe Nakani portrays his first wife Evelyn Mase. Rising star, bass-baritone Kabelo Lebyana, appears as King Jongintaba and tenor Sipho Fubesi plays Justice Mtirara.

Madiba the African Opera runs at the State Theatre until June 1, after which it will be staged at the Nelson Mandela Museum in Qunu on July 18, followed by performances at the Port Elizabeth Opera House and at the Performing Arts Centre of the Free State (Pacofs) in Bloemfontein. The production embarks on a tour of illustrious venues across Europe next year. 

WHERE State Theatre, Pretoria  
WHEN Friday May 23 – June 1 2014
INFO Tickets cost between R110 and R280 and are available from Computicket