Billboard confuses Nelson Mandela for Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman

New Delhi cloth merchant Chandrashekhar, who paid for the board out of his own pocket, said he didn’t know how the problem occurred

That awkward moment when… You accidentally confuse a deceased person with the Hollywood actor 20 years his junior that played him in a movie once.

That’s exactly what happened in India, when a tribute billboard to mark the passing of late South African leader Nelson Mandela was erected by the side of a road in Coimbator.

Only, instead of using an image of the freedom fighter, they used one of Morgan Freeman instead.

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“We should be proud that we were part of an era when they lived,” a condolence message, which also sat alongside pictures of Ghandi, Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King Jr, read.

Cloth merchant Chandrashekhar, who paid for the board out of his own pocket as a sign of respect, said he didn’t know how the problem occurred, but pointed to a mistake at the designer’s end.

“We will replace it with the correct picture of Mandela,” he told AFP on the phone.

The definitely living Freeman actually played Mandela in 2009 movie Invictus, so it’s more than likely that the confusion came from there.

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He’s also played God in the past, so don’t be surprised if you find his face tacked onto a bulletin board outside your local church some time soon.

Earlier this month, Freeman was one of a number of famous people who did pay tribute to the late Mandela.

The definitely living Freeman actually played Mandela in 2009 movie Invictus. The definitely living Freeman actually played Mandela in 2009 movie Invictus.  

The actor described him as “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.”

Of course, the mix-up didn’t stop there. Several Twitter users mistakenly used Morgan’s image next to their own tribute tweets in the days following the announcement of Mandela’s passing.

There was even a rumour that Paris Hilton had gone one step more ridiculous, and got Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr confused. She didn’t, incidentally – it was a fake tweet created by a spoof profile wind-up merchant.

Read more on that story here.

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