A public tribute to Nelson Mandela in India accidentally paid tribute to actor Morgan Freeman instead, as the image of Freeman was used on the billboard rather than the anti-apartheid revolutionary who recently died at age 95.
It seems like Freeman is quite the Nelson Mandela look-alike.
Ever since he took on the role of Mandela in the sports drama biopic “Invictus” in 2009, Freeman has been mistaken for the former president of South Africa several times.
This time Freeman’s image was used on a public sign in India that was intended to honor the late world leader.
The sign was placed in the city of Coimbatore, and a local merchant shouldered all the expenses of getting it made.The same merchant also plans to pay to get the correct image placed on the sign.
“We will replace it with the correct picture of Mandela,” the local cloth merchant told reporters.
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In addition to featuring a large image of Freeman, the public sign included a long text written in Tamil that praised all that Mandela accomplished during his 95 years on earth.
“Among today’s politicians who cannot think beyond the next election cycle, Nelson Mandela was a leader who thought of the well-being of future generations,” the sign reads. “He went to join Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King on 5.12.13. We bow down to him, proud to have lived during his time on earth and praise his message of love, non-violence and sacrifice. ‘The farmer may sleep, but the seeds he planted never will.’ “
While the image of the tribute blunder has already gone viral, this isn’t an unusual occurrence.
The Guardian reports that 8 percent of all the tweets that were posted after Mandela’s death contained some form of mistaken identity.
Nearly all cases of mistaken identity involved actors who had at one point in their careers played the role of Mandela in film.