In 2015, the South African Embassy in Mexico donated a painting of Nelson Mandela, which was created by Afro-Mexican artist Aydeé Rodríguez López from Cuajinicuilapa in the Costa Chica region of Guerrero, to the Senate of South Africa for permanent display. The painting depicts the image of the legendary Mandela, along with the cultural representation of ancestral African people who were brought to Mexico, especially in the Costa Chica region, known as the “Black Pearl of African Mexico”.
A painting of Nelson Mandela and the ancestral African peoples of Mexico hangs in the South African Senate. It was created by Afro-Mexican artist Aydeé Rodríguez López, from Cuajinicuilapa, Guerrero in the Costa Chica region.
The painting was initially presented by the artist to the South African ambassador to Mexico, Sandile Nogxina, at a ceremony at the Embassy of South Africa in Mexico City. Dr. Talia Weltman-Cisneros attended representing Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Dr. Weltman-Cisneros, originally from South Africa, is a researher and consultant in Afro-Mexican culture.
Ambassador Sandile Nogxina said that the artwork of the image of the leader Nelson Mandela should be a constant reminder of cultural ties between Africa and Mexico, a reminder of the contributions made by people of African descent in the construction of society, and that Mexico is a land of multiplicity of persons whose origins must be recognized.
The artwork was initially presented to the Embassy of South Africa in Mexico City in July 2015, and then forwarded to the South African Senate.
The Afro-Mexican artist Aydeé Rodríguez López explained that her painting reflects the grandeur of the social work of Nelson Mandela, his love for humanity, his country, and his people. In addition, it reflects the map of South Africa and black culture that brought those ancient peoples to Cuajinicuilapa, Guerrero, Mexico, where the African culture still prevails today.
Pictured is a house, shaped like those found in an African village, that is located in the Costa Chica region of Guerrero. The area has one of the largest populations of Afro-Mexicans in the country. Photo courtesy of www.FreedomPathways.org.
Upon receiving the artwork, South African Senator Maria del Rocio Pineda Gochi said the Costa Chica region of Guerrero, is in itself a vast representation of African values and elements, where they have organized meetings between black African peoples to preserve the integrity of their communities.
There are no official figures on population census on the location and the number of people of African descent in Mexico. An effort is currently underway to recognize and count the population in the national census, which will facilitate public policies focused on this population to have greater impact and improve their quality of life.
For more information about Afro-Mexicans, visit: Pathways to Freedom in the Americas | Shared Experiences between Michigan, U.S.A and Guerrero, Mexico
For more information about Ixtapa Zihuatanejo and the surrounding areas, see: