His next series, “Homeland,” pictured Qunu, the village where Mandela was born and raised, and where he chose to be buried. The 13 drawings were “inspired by his love for the peace and tranquility of Qunu,” Mandela-Amuah explained. “It was his spiritual home. During his later years, he would spend time watching the cows grazing; this made him immensely happy. Not many people know that he loved farming and growing vegetables.”
The simple drawings, in charcoal and pastel, picture serene scenes—cows grazing in a field; humble houses with pitched roofs; a deep green mound of land surrounded by water. Mandela was working from photographs of Qunu’s hills, valleys, the Mbashe River, and clusters of homes where families lived. Mandela-Amuah recalled that her father had fond memories of Qunu.
“People think my dad was a politician and that Nelson Mandela just fell from the sky—that he doesn’t have a sense of place, he doesn’t have a sense of belonging,” Mandela-Amuah wrote. “For me, the ‘Homeland’ sketches are very important for the world because they give a glimpse of who my father was holistically: how proud he was of who he was and where he came from, even though he came from humble beginnings. That’s what I want the world to see. Not just the politician.”