Morgan Freeman mistaken for Mandela on Indian billboard

Nadine Kalinauskas
Daily Buzz
Morgan Freeman mistaken for Mandela on Indian billboard

Perhaps Morgan Freeman's portrayal of the late Nelson Mandela in 2009's Invictus was a little too convincing.

The designer of a billboard in India confused the two men and ended up paying tribute to the late South African leader with a headshot of Freeman.


Below Freeman's face are images of Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa and Mahatma Ghandi. (And no, Ben Kingsley's photo didn't make the Ghandi spot.)

"We should be proud that we were part of an era when they lived," the Tamil-language billboard reads, according to a translation by the AFP.

And while many would argue they are also proud to live in the era of Morgan Freeman, the mistake is still an embarrassing one.

The Huffington Post's translation includes the tribute's entire text:

"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. 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.'"

A new — and correct — tribute billboard will be erected soon.

The owner, cloth merchant Chandrashekhar, blames the mistake on the designer.

"We will replace it with the correct picture of Mandela," he told the AFP.

The billboard designer isn't the only one to have Mandela-identity issues.

According to the Guardian, at least eight per cent of tweets about Mandela following his death have "involved users ridiculing others for confusing his picture with that of famous actors."

And, yes, Freeman comes up a lot.

Freeman spoke with the New York Daily News on the day of Mandela's death:

"Today the world lost one of the true giants of the past century," Freeman told The News. "Nelson Mandela was a man of incomparable honour, unconquerable strength, and unyielding resolve — a saint to many, a hero to all who treasure liberty, freedom and the dignity of humankind.

"As we remember his triumphs, let us, in his memory, not just reflect on how far we've come, but on how far we have to go. Madiba may no longer be with us, but his journey continues on with me and with all of us."