Madiba will be based on two of Mandela's books, Conversations With Myself and Nelson Mandela by Himself, and will centre on the leader's early days as he dealt with the political unrest which led to his 27-year prison detainment, release and subsequent rise to power as South African President in 1994.

Production is slated to begin in South Africa next year (16). The project will air on America's BET network.

Stephen Hill, President of Programming at BET Networks, says, "Nelson Mandela's journey of political activism and leadership is deeply inspirational and we are proud to have the talented and award-winning actor Laurence Fishburne join Madiba to tell this triumphant story."

Fishburne joins a string of actors who have portrayed Mandela, including Morgan Freeman, Sidney Poitier, Idris Elba, Dennis Haysbert, Terrence Howard and Danny Glover.