With the death of Nelson Mandela, mankind has to say goodbye to a true icon, an icon of the struggle against Apartheid and for equality between races. His struggle and his charisma inspired many musicians and dozens of songs were dedicated to the former South African president.
This song by The Specials from 1984 was intended as a protest against the 27-year-long imprisonment of Mandela. The song was written by Jerry Dammers and became immensely popular in Africa. In South Africa it was embraced by the ANC as fight song.
In fact, the number is not just about the individual freedom of Mandela, but also about the freedom of a whole nation.
At the 70th anniversary of Mandela, in 1988, was a remake of the song. Amy Winehouse also performed the song on the 90th anniversary of Mandela.
Robben Island (Afrikaans: Robbeneiland) is an island in Table Bay, 6.9 km west of the coast of Bloubergstrand, Cape Town, South Africa. The name is Dutch for "seal island". Robben Island is roughly oval in shape, 3.3 km long north-south, and 1.9 km wide, with an area of 5.07 km². It is flat and only a few metres above sea level, as a result of an ancient erosion event. The island is composed of Precambrian metamorphic rocks belonging to the Malmesbury Group. Nobel Laureate and former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island for 18 of the 27 years he served behind bars before the fall of apartheid. Kgalema Motlanthe, who also served as President of South Africa, spent 10 years on Robben Island as a political prisoner, as did current president Jacob Zuma.
"Gimme Hope Jo'anna" - Eddy Grant
"Gimme Hope Jo'anna" is a song originally by Eddy Grant, a well-known anti-apartheid reggae anthem from the 1980s, written during the apartheid era in South Africa. The song was banned by the South African government when it was released, but was widely played in South Africa nonetheless. It reached #7 in the UK Singles Chart, becoming Grant's first Top 10 hit for more than five years.
Sarafina! is a South African musical by Mbongeni Ngema depicting students involved in the Soweto Riots, in opposition to apartheid. It was also adapted into a 1992 film starring Whoopi Goldberg and Leleti Khumalo. Sarafina! premiered on Broadway on 28 January 1988, at the Cort Theatre, and closed on 2 July 1989, after 597 performances and 11 previews. The musical was conceived and directed by Mbongeni Ngema, who also wrote the book, music, and lyrics. The play was first presented at The Market Theatre, Johannesburg, South Africa, in June 1987. The cast included Leleti Khumalo as Sarafina.
Leleti Khumalo received a Tony Award nomination, Best Featured Actress in a Musical, as well as a NAACP Image Award for her Broadway theatre portrayal of the title character. The production was also nominated for the Tony Award for: Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Choreography, and Best Direction of a Musical.
The show presents a school uprising similar to the Soweto uprising on 16 June 1976. A narrator introduces several characters among them the schoolgirl activist Sarafina. Things get out of control when policemen shot several pupils at the school. Nevertheless, the musical ends with a cheerful farewell show of pupils leaving school, which takes most of the second act.