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July 18, 2013

Songs for Madiba

Ultimately Mandela Day and the 67 Minutes campaign seek to empower communities everywhere. The slogan “Take Action; Inspire Change; Make Every Day a Mandela Day” epitomizes the ideals Tata Madiba stood for. Last Mandela Day, I wrote about Madiba’s heritage and how we should know our heritage. This year I thought it would be fitting to reflect on the musical heritage that Madiba has inspired.

“You may be poor, you may have only a ramshackle house, you may have lost your job, but that song gives you hope. African music is often about the aspirations of humanity”
Nelson Mandela

Though it makes me sad to think of Tata sick in hospital, listening to these songs makes me smile and reminds me of the power of Madiba to inspire movements. So here’s my top 10 songs inspired by Madiba. Happy birthday Tata.

1. Asimbonanga – Johnny Clegg

This powerful anti-apartheid anthem still brings tears to my eyes. It reminds me of attending the 46664 concert in Johannesburg in 2007, and seeing Madiba on stage in one of his last public appearances. Johnny Clegg wrote Asimbonanga (We have not seen him), which calls for Mandela’s release, in 1987, a crazy time in South Africa’s history. I also love that this song is a tribute to all the anti-apartheid activists who were lost to the struggle, not just Mandela.

2. Bring him back home – Hugh Masekela

3. Free Nelson Mandela – The Specials

4. When You Come Back – Vusi Mahlasela

5. Black President – Brenda Fassie

6. Nelson Mandela Song – Nomfusi & the Lucky Charms

7. Mandela Day – Simple Minds

8. Mandela – Salif Keita

9. Mr Mandela – Trenton & Free Radical

This is a special version of their 2010 track, Mr Mandela, with the Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (CPYO) and 24 learners from the South Africa Youth Choir (SAYC), to celebrate Mandela Day. The track is available for free download for a further 6.7 days from Mandela Day.

10. Number 46664 – Bono, Joe Strummer & Dave Stewart

What is your favourite Mandela inspired song? 

Orignially posted on Mzansi Girl 

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