List of awards and honours received by Nelson Mandela

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Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela.jpg
Rolihlahla Mandela

(1918-07-18)18 July 1918
Died5 December 2013(2013-12-05) (aged 95)
Johannesburg, South Africa
Resting placeQunu, Eastern Cape
31°48′17.15″S 28°36′48.7″E / 31.8047639°S 28.613528°E / -31.8047639; 28.613528
NationalitySouth African
Known forAnti-Apartheid Movement
Notable work
Long Walk to Freedom
Political partyAfrican National Congress

This is a comprehensive list of awards, honours and other recognitions bestowed on Nelson Mandela. Mandela received more than 260 awards over 40 years, most notably the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

From 1994 to 1999, Mandela was President of South Africa. He was the first such African to be elected in fully representative democratic polls.

Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist and leader of the African National Congress and its armed wing Umkhonto we Sizwe. He spent 27 years in prison, much of it in a cell on Robben Island. The rest of his incarceration was in Pollsmoor Prison, on convictions for crimes that included sabotage committed while he spearheaded the struggle against apartheid.

Following his release from prison on 11 February 1990, his advocacy of a policy of reconciliation and negotiation helped lead the transition to multi-racial democracy in South Africa. Since the end of apartheid, he was widely praised, even by former opponents.

Mandela died on 5 December 2013, a celebrated elder statesman who continued to voice his opinion on topical issues. In South Africa he is often known as Madiba, an aristocratic title adopted by the elderly members of the royal clan that he belongs to. This title has come to be synonymous with Nelson Mandela.









Street sign in Glasgow, Scotland





Bharat Ratna, awarded 1990




Bill Clinton presented Mandela with the Philadelphia Liberty Medal on 4 July 1993


  • Received the New Nation/Engen Man of the Year Flame of Distinction award, 24 March
  • Elected Newsmaker of the Year, with Deputy President F W de Klerk, by the Johannesburg Press Club, 25 May. Prof Kader Asmal received the award on 29 September
  • Received the Hunger Project's 8th annual Africa Prize for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger, London, 19 July
  • Received Anne Frank medal for human rights and tolerance, Johannesburg, 15 August
  • Received Sheikh Yusuf Peace Award from the Muslim Women's Federation, 10 September
  • Received the Arthur A Houghton Star Crystal Award for Excellence from the African-American Institute, 6 October
  • Received Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award from Africare, 6 October
  • Honorary Doctorate, Howard University, 7 October
  • Received freedom of the town of Tongaat, KwaZulu-Natal, 21 October (initially granted in 1989)
  • Received the Olympic Gold Order from International Olympic Committee president, Juan Antonio Samaranch, Cape Town, 16 November
  • Received Man of the Year Award from the Greek Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Southern Africa, Johannesburg, 19 November 1994
  • Received the Grand'Croix degree of the National Order of the Legion of Honour of France, Paris, 28 December
  • Honorary Doctorate awarded by University of South Africa
  • Awarded the "Commonwealth Champion of Health" medal, received by South African athletes at the Commonwealth Games, Canada


  • Africa Peace Award – sponsored jointly by the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) and the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) – presented at a ceremony in Durban, March
  • Appointed an honorary member of the Order of Merit by Queen Elizabeth II
  • 'Nelson Mandela Road' to Katse, Lesotho, inaugurated, 13 July
  • Received Pretoria Press Club's 1994 Newsmaker of the Year Award, Pretoria, 20 July
  • Granted the Freedom of Uitenhage, 14 September
  • Awarded Honorary Fellowship of the College of Medicine of South Africa, Johannesburg, 17 October
  • Harvard Business School Statesman of the Year Award, 14 December
  • Human Rights Institute, with President Mandela as honorary chairman, launched in London by the International Bar Association, December 1995
  • The Wolf Award, presented in South Africa by Canadian aboriginal leaders Phil Fontaine and George Muswagon



Nelson Mandela's former house in Soweto, Johannesburg, now Mandela Family Museum.








Order of St John of Jerusalem Badge








  • Received the Canadian version of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal[83]
  • Received the Robben Island Alumnus Award in recognition of being a UNISA Robben Island Alumnus who has sacrificed so much for the liberation of South Africa. [84]


  • On 10 December 2013, the amphitheatre of the Union Buildings in Pretoria was renamed the Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre.[85]
  • On 16 December 2013, a 9-metre-high (30 ft) bronze statue of Mandela was unveiled at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.[86]




A quote of Mandela's from 1991, "I cherish my own freedom dearly, but I care even more for your freedom," is on a wall of the Contemplative Court, a space for reflection in the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture; the museum opened in 2016.[89]

Summary of orders received[edit]

Order Country / Org Year
GDR Star of Friendship of Nations - Gold BAR.png Star of People's Friendship  East Germany 1984
Ribbon Order Playa Giron.jpg Order of Playa Girón  Cuba 1984
Bharat Ratna Ribbon.svg Bharat Ratna  India 1990
Order of the Federal Republic (civil) - Nigeria - ribbon bar.gif Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic  Nigeria 1990
Order of the Torch of Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) - ribbon bar.gif Order of the Uhuru Torch (Second Class)[90]  Tanzania 1990
Ordem Agostinho Neto.svg
Order of Agostinho Neto  Angola 1990
Ord.Nishan-i-Pakistan.ribbon.gif Nishan-e-Pakistan  Pakistan 1992
TWN Order of Brilliant Star 1Class BAR.svg Order of Brilliant Star with Special Grand Cordon  ROC 1993
Legion Honneur GC ribbon.svg National Order of the Legion of Honour (Grand Cross)  France 1994
Order of Merit (Commonwealth realms) ribbon.png Honorary member of the Order of Merit 1995
Order of the Elephant Ribbon bar.svg Knight of the Order of the Elephant  Denmark 1996
MLI National Order - Grand Cross BAR.png Grand Cross of the National Order of Mali  Mali 1996
Order of the Seraphim - Ribbon bar.svg Knight of the Royal Order of the Seraphim  Sweden 1997
Order of Canada (CC) ribbon bar.png Honorary Companion of the Order of Canada  Canada 1998
St Olavs Orden storkors stripe.svg Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of St Olav  Norway 1998
Order of Isabella the Catholic - Sash of Collar.svg Knight Collar of the Order of Isabella the Catholic  Spain 1999
Ord.Lion.Nassau.jpg Knight of the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau  Luxembourg 1999
Ukraine-republic007.png First Class of the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise  Ukraine 1999
AUS Order of Australia (civil) BAR.svg Honorary Companion of the Order of Australia  Australia 1999
Islamic Republic Ribbon Bar (1st Class).svg Order of Islamic Republic  Iran 2001
Presidential Medal of Freedom (ribbon).svg Presidential Medal of Freedom  United States 2002
Order of Mapungubwe (RSA) - ribbon bar.gif Order of Mapungubwe – Platinum Category  South Africa 2002
Order of St John (UK) ribbon.png Bailiff Grand Cross of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem 2004
Order Stara planina ribbon.png First Class Order of Stara Planina[75]  Bulgaria 2008
MEX Order of the Aztec Eagle 3Class BAR.png Order of the Aztec Eagle  Mexico 2010
QEII Diamond Jubilee Medal ribbon.png Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (Canadian version)  Canada 2012
Ribbon - Service Medal in Bronze.png Service Medal in Bronze  South Africa 1996
Ribbon - Service Medal in Silver.png Service Medal in Silver  South Africa 1996
Ribbon - Service Medal in Gold.png Service Medal in Gold  South Africa 1996
Ribbon - Unitas Medal.gif Unitas Medal  South Africa 1994
Ribbon Star for Bravery in Gold.png Star for Bravery in Gold (SBG)  South Africa 1996
Ribbon Star for Bravery in Silver.png Star for Bravery in Silver (SBS)  South Africa 1996
Ribbon Conspicuous Leadership Star.png Conspicuous Leadership Star (CLS)  South Africa 1996
Ribbon - Decoration for Merit in Gold.png Decoration for Merit in Gold (DMG)  South Africa 1996
Ribbon - Merit Medal in Silver.png Merit Medal in Silver (MMS)  South Africa 1996
Ribbon - Merit Medal in Bronze.png Merit Medal in Bronze (MMB)  South Africa 1996

Coat of arms[edit]

See also[edit]


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