Madiba shirt

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Nelson Mandela, wearing a Madiba shirt (Indonesian batik shirt)

A Madiba shirt is a batik silk shirt, usually adorned in a bright and colourful print. Batik is originally from Indonesia, and has been claimed as cultural heritage of Indonesia by UNESCO. It has become a well-known nickname for batik shirts in South Africa, being popularised by former South African president Nelson Mandela. It is named after Mandela's clan name "Madiba", an honorary title adopted by all members of his clan.

The Madiba shirt was designed by Desré Buirski[1] and first worn by the then newly elected president at the dress rehearsal of the opening of South Africa's first democratic Parliament in May 1994.[2] Mandela wore this style of shirt many times afterwards.


  1. ^ Liz Black (2005-07-15). "Madiba moments". Archived from the original on 2008-02-14. Retrieved 2006-10-12. 
  2. ^ "The Presidential Shirt Story". Archived from the original on 2003-05-27. Retrieved 2006-10-12.