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Gold Models of Nelson Mandela's Hands Just Sold For $10 Million in Bitcoin

Did Nelson Mandela's "golden hands" end up in the right ones?

Arbitrade, a Canadian cryptocurrency agency, has purchased four gold casts of Nelson Mandela's hands from a South African businessman for $10 million in bitcoin, with the plans of creating a "Global Hands of Mandela" tour to educate young people on the late revolutionary's life, reports BBC Africa.

The solid casts weigh close to 20 pounds and include imprints of Mandela's hand, palm, and fist. They are thought to be the only of their kind in the world and are meant to symbolize Mandela's time at Robben Island.

The hands were originally bought by Malcolm Duncan, who purchased them from the mining group Harmony Gold in 2002 for around $31,000. Half of the profits were supposed to go to charity, though the donation was never confirmed.


The selling of Mandela relics has sparked controversy over the years. According to the Bloomberg, Mandela himself had several pieces destroyed following various scandals surrounding the sale of such artifacts.

Questions remain around Arbitrade's possession of the artifacts, their intent, and around the acquisition of African art by Western buyers as a whole. Should these items be the property of shadowy companies simply because they have the money to acquire them? We're not so sure.

Read the full story via the Bloomberg.

Interview

Interview: The Awakening of Bas

We talk to Bas about The Messenger, Bobi Wine, Sudan, and the globalized body of Black pain.

The first thing you notice when you begin to listen to The Messenger—the new investigative documentary podcast following the rise of Ugandan singer, businessman and revolutionary political figure Bobi Wine—is Bas' rich, paced, and deeply-affecting storytelling voice.

Whether he is talking about Uganda's political landscape, painting a picture of Bobi Wine's childhood, or drawing parallels between the violence Black bodies face in America and the structural oppression Africans on the continent continue to endure at the hands of corrupt government administrations, there is no doubt that Bas (real name Abbas Hamad) has an intimate understanding of what he's talking about.

We speak via Zoom, myself in Lagos, and him in his home studio in Los Angeles where he spends most of his time writing as he cools off from recording the last episode of The Messenger. It's evident that the subject matter means a great deal to the 33-year-old Sudanese-American rapper, both as a Black man living in America and one with an African heritage he continues to maintain deep ties with. The conversation around Black bodies enduring various levels of violence is too urgent and present to ignore and this is why The Messenger is a timely and necessary cultural work.

Below, we talk with Bas aboutThe Messenger podcast, Black activism, growing up with parents who helped shape his political consciousness and the globalized body of Black pain.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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