1. ITV Report

A Long Walk to Freedom wins Winnie Mandela's approval

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has given her seal of approval to a new film telling the story of her relationship with Nelson Mandela and his fight for freedom.

The ex-wife of the former South African president has clearly been won over by Idris Elba's portrayal of Nelson Mandela, embracing him on the red carpet at the world premiere of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom in Johannesburg.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela embraces Idris Elba at the world premiere of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. Credit: ITV News

The romance of the film is not with Mandela's current wife, Graça Machel, who told ITV Africa Correspondent Rohit Kachroo "this is Winnie's day".

Elba said it was a "massive honour" to be given the opportunity to play Mandela.

I tried to pay special attention to the characteristics that make (Nelson Mandela) who he is, especially his presence.

That's something that is hard to capture and I think I did a good job, I don't know.

– Elba Idris
Idris Elba (L) joins Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (C) and Zindzi Mandela (L) at the premiere of A Long Walk to Freedom. Credit: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Elba's voyage to South Africa for the premiere took a setback when he was rushed to hospital from the plane after suffering an asthma attack.

Fellow British actress Naomie Harris, who plays Winnie, said she and Elba adjusted to the South African accent by speaking in it "all the time".

Nelson Mandela's daughter Zindzi said she wished she had watched the film "alone" after it made her "emotional".

"It made me confront many emotions that I had buried (and) that I had refused to acknowledge," she said at a news conference yesterday.

ITV News' Rohit Kachroo reports: