A ‘Hare’ Raising BIG Fuss: A Small Trademark Wrecks a National Monument

(Picture: AP)The new Nelson Mandela statue at the Union Buildings. The statue is 9m high and made of bronze. (Helen Zille, Twitter)

I just read a news item of a small matter that has become such a big matter in South Africa. Its not completely unexpected – this is Nelson Mandela’s statue we are talking about. Here is the story – the sculptors who did the 9 metre Mandela statue wanted to put their trademark rabbit on the statue. They decided the best place to do it would be in Nelson Mandela’s ear  – how dare you!

The little rabbit is barely noticeable to the naked eye – but some prying long lens camera or binoculars picked it up. Then all hell broke loose. This small rabbit cannot stain the big person of Mandela. The little rabbit must go! The little rabbit probably costs less than USD1 compared to the almost USD1 million dollars cost of the statue.

Just a few thoughts ran through my mind and as usual I thought of some lessons:

  1. The small things in life have the potential to damage big things
  2. Little harmless actions can have serious unintended consequences – imagine a little trademark rabbit has become a sign of big disrespect!
  3. Always check the small stuff – ‘the rabbit is in the detail’
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