Nelson Mandela's Death: Discovery to Air New Documentary Worldwide

Nelson Mandela

"The Making of Mandela" will premiere on the Discovery Channel in the U.K. before going out across the company's network of channels around the globe.

Discovery Networks International, the global arm of TV networks giant Discovery Communications, said Friday that it would premiere a new hourlong documentary on the life of late South African leader Nelson Mandela.

The Making of Mandela, described by Discovery as "a true representation of Mandela's personal story … and the key decisions that he made throughout his incredible journey to freedom," will premiere on Discovery Channel U.K. Friday night before rolling out on Discovery channels across some 224 countries and territories around the globe.

The special will air on Discovery Channel U.S. and on Discovery Channel South Africa on Sunday.

"Nelson Mandela's personal friends, comrades and associates have come together in The Making of Mandela to present a very authentic account of Mandela's extraordinary political life -- and his undeniable impact on us all," said Luis Silberwasser, Discovery Networks International chief content officer and executive vp. "This documentary exemplifies Discovery's commitment to strong, emotional storytelling, and we are honored to share this story with a global audience."

British actor David Harewood (Homeland), who played Mandela in a BBC TV movie in 2010, narrates the documentary. Interviews with Mandela's friends and associates are supplemented by Mandela's own recordings for his autobiography A Long Walk to Freedom.

The documentary traces Mandela's life from the Sharpeville massacre in 1960 and the start of his political fight against apartheid, first as a young lawyer, later as a resistance fighter jailed for 27 years and finally, following his release, as South Africa's first freely elected president.

Darlow Smithson Productions produced The Making of Mandela for Discovery. Sarah T. Davies of Discovery and Iain Riddick for Darlow Smithson executive produced. Discovery said that, as a mark of respect for the late South African leader, the film will screen without credits.