Day 15. Nelson Mandela teaches us about creativity during lockdown


Creativity is the ability to create something new, out of what you have at your disposal. You can’t create something out of nothing.

So, in essence – we are all co-creators with ‘what is’, with Creation – with the Universe. We make use of what we have been given.

Some people complain about what they don’t have. Others know that this is a waste of time and energy. They take what they have and turn it into something exceptional. It is a choice.

Such a man was Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela and creativity

Before he was imprisoned, Nelson Mandela[i] didn’t have much in the form of physical possessions. He had a house with his first wife, Evelyn, that he needed to leave behind. He had a second house with his second wife Winnie, he also needed to leave behind.

Madiba didn’t attach much value to creating and accumulating earthly possessions.  His aim was to create something of lasting value and deeper meaning that would benefit everyone.

Creativity and ‘success’.

Many people see their earthly possessions and positions as the pinnacle of their ‘success’. The real questions are: What have you done with your life, so far? What are you creating that is of value and lasting meaning? What is it you bring to the table that is of service to others?

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We all need money as an exchange mechanism to obtain our provisions. However, we will need to rethink our attachment to money. We need to find new creative avenues where money, finances, business and our true wants and needs are concerned. We can also expect that this lockdown will take its toll on personal and global economies.

It’s also time to redefine ‘success’. It’s time to redefine what we really need to be happy and fulfilled. It’s time think outside the box.

This is the time to be really creative. As the diagram above shows us, creativity can get us out of the doom and gloom of a global dilemma.

Creative thinking

Most of his life, Nelson Mandela[ii] was on the run or locked up in prison. However, during this time of his lockdown – he formed creative ideas of what should be done to make their vision become a reality. He knew that their ideas would benefit everyone.

By the time he was released, all was in place.

Creativity and fun

Lockdown like creativity, can and should be fun. Find the fun and laughter in all these experiences.

Nelson Mandela was known for his dancing, fun, laughter and good sense of humor.

A friend of mine sent this photo explaining that she had got this from someone who had ‘learnt to knit’ during lockdown.

How creative and how much fun is that …

The outcome of creativity

Instead of a bloodbath – Nelson Mandela created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Under the leadership of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, they turned hate, bloodshed and anger into truth, forgiveness and reconciliation.

They created something exceptional out of something that could have been disastrous. They turned everything around – to the benefit of all.

So, can we.

Easter weekend and creativity    

This is Easter Weekend. A time for silence and reflection. This is also a time for creative thinking and planning. A time for celebration.

The lockdown is being extended in most countries. The novelty of being in isolation is wearing off. Things will now begin to get real. It’s time to be creative.

Making the best of lockdown

Remember, that the emerging of all the creative ideas, planning and preparation, took place while Nelson Mandela was still in lockdown. He was ready when the time came to be released and put all his creative ideas and plans to work.  

We too cannot miss this opportunity.

To do list

Here are a few ideas to help you on this path:

  • Once again sit. Just listen. Listen to your heart
  • Define your vision. Make a vision board if necessary
  • Ask yourself the meaning and purpose of life and vision
  • How will it benefit you? How will it benefit others?
  • Make a list of what you currently have at your disposal
  • How can you turn this all into something exceptional?
  • Stop complaining. Start being creative and innovative
  • Have fun. Have a party … all on your own if necessary
  • Open you heart to listen and to give and receive love.  
  • Contact us if you need help, assistance and coaching. 
  • To catch up and previous lessons see. Website:
  • Free E-book: Read the free E-book: Coaching yourself to ultimate success. Available here
  • Enrol for the 10-part course: Learning to think, live and lead like Nelson Mandela. There is a special offer with 90% discount for you only available for a short time.  Available here
  • Subscribe for your free Daily Power Tools for Power People delivered to your inbox. Available here
  • To book a personal coaching session via Skype, Zoom or WhatsApp, call and leave a voice message or send a message to (027) 066 29 26808, or send email:  We will get back to you ASAP
  • Book Dr Brenda as speaker for organisational, leadership and/or staff training and as speaker for your next event. Email: Remember, the lockdown and Covid-19 virus pandemic won’t last forever. It’s time to plan now

Happy Easter weekend

Stay safe – stay connected

Brenda Hattingh


[1 Mandela, Nelson, R.  (1994). The long walk to freedom. The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela. Illustrated. Little, Brown & Company. London.

[ii] Hattingh, Brenda. (2014.). Seven steps to securing the Madiba Magic in life and  leadership. Currency Communications. Pty .Ltd.: Johannesburg.