Before he could begin working on the bust, though, Rucker had to receive permission from the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The project was also sponsored by the Bavarian State Chancellery as part of the bilateral relations between the Free State of Bavaria and the Western Cape province. Anglo Platinum, a mine operator in South Africa, agreed to provide the precious platinum, which was then covered by Mannheimer Versicherung, an insurer. Staatliche Porzellanmanufaktur Meissen, a porcelain manufacturer, came on board to make the porcelain bust. Finally, the platinum welding device was provided by Alpha Laser, Puchheim near Munich, while Wacker Chemie AG provided the silicone for molding the bust.
Rucker also presented his project to the General Consulate of South Africa in Munich. In January 2010, he flew to Pretoria with no more than a single telephone number in his notebook, and three days later found himself sitting in the living room of the South African President, Jacob Zuma. “Hi, I'm Jacob - Welcome to South Africa” is how Zuma greeted him the first time, recalls Rucker, looking at the photograph of the meeting.