A FUNDRAISING campaign has got underway to honour one of the world’s most famous political figures in Glasgow.
The Nelson Mandela Scottish Memorial Foundation (NMSMF) is hoping to raise public funds to erect a statue of the anti-apartheid revolutionary who was given the Freedom of the City in 1981 and already has a street named in his honour.
Big names including Sir Alex Ferguson have backed the move to immortalise the former South African president who was incarcerated for 27 years and died on December 5, 2013 at the age of 95.
But does the campaign have the backing of the Glasgow public or should funds be prioritised for those with stronger ties to the city?
A separate fundraising drive is underway to create a lasting memorial for Gorbals-born boxer Benny Lynch, which has the backing of actor Robert Carlyle and has raised around £10,000 so far.
Jacqueline Walker, 47, from Carntyne, says she would be happy to see Mandela honoured with a statue in the city he visited on October 9, 1993 to thank the Glasgow public for their support.
She said: “He might not be from Glasgow but he did so much to help others.”
Irene Sloan, 72, from Cadder, believes money should be focussed on ‘local heroes’.
She said: “I’m not very political but he’s not from this country.
“Is every other country going to put a statue up then?”
Chris Walker, 21, a student from Glasgow’s South Side, said: “I think you would be hard pushed to find someone else to memorialise who has made such a huge contribution to human rights.
“He has got links to Glasgow, so the argument that he’s not from the city doesn’t really hold up.”
Ronald Hendry, 78, from Drumchapel said he would far rather see Mandela honoured than Benny Lynch, who was considered one of the finest boxers below the lightweight division in his era.
He said: “I would far rather see Mandela honoured that someone who punched peoples’ lights out for a living.
“Mandela did something international and he’s got strong links to the city.
“You can’t compare what he did to a boxer.”
Jade Sandeman, 26, from Glasgow, said: “The money could be used to help our city but I do think it’s important to pay our respects to him.”
Helen Thomson, 76, from the South Side of the city, said: “He was a very honourable man and it was a terrible regime but a bit of me isn’t sure that Glasgow needs that.
“I think it’s a bit tenuous.
“He’s also male and there are a lot of male statues. It’s a very Victorian idea to honour people with statues, although I do like to see them.”
Alan Curry, 51, originally from Airdrie, said: “I have mixed feelings. He was a very good man.
“He did a lot of good but Glasgow has already got a street named after him.
“I would perhaps prefer more commemorations for Glasgow people. I’d be more for that. However, I’m not against it.”