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Sala kahle, Nelson Mandela. Hero, statesman and humanitarian.

Well Beat fans, it is with a very heavy heart that we join the world in bidding farewell to a truly great person. Nelson Mandela has passed away.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013), a former South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, a former political prisoner, a politician, philanthropist and the Father of the South Africa nation, who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, died on December 5th, 2013, at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg at the age of 95. He was surrounded by his family.

Nelson Mandela in Office as President of South Africa
Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.
Attribution: South Africa The Good News /

Dave Wakeling, had this say on the news of Mr. Mandela’s passing:

“Thank you Nelson Mandela for what you did for us all. Your example will always be an inspiration; Blessed be.”

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It a stupendous loss to the world and we send out our deepest sympathies and heart felt wishes to his family and friends, the people of South Africa, and indeed all the good people of the world who are most certainly mourning his loss today.

Album Cover: “(Free) Nelson Mandela” by Special AKA Feat. Elvis Costello, Lynval Golding,
Dave Wakeling, and Ranking Roger (among others) on backing vocals

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“During my Lifetime I have dedicated myself to the struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”
–Nelson Mandela
–Statement from the dock, 20 April 1964

Brave words that day from a man committed to the struggle for human rights. But he did not die in prison and rather, Mandela lived to see the day when he was released from prison (2 Feb 1990), he saw the vile apartheid system dismantled, and he would go on to lead his country as President in the nascent stage of becoming a free society.

Those moments were captured for posterity as well, and here again (via the magic of YouTube) is the man himself, on two more historic occasions:

“Nelson Mandela: An International tribute to Free South Africa concert”
From a speech delivered on 16 April 1990, at Wembley Stadium, two months after his release from prison. (Note, as befitting the man, the crowd cheers for over five minutes, at which point the speech begins.)

Nelson Mandela: Inaugural Address
From a speech delivered on 10 May 1994, upon his Inauguration as the new President of the Republic of South Africa.

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Finally, we simply can’t leave you without sharing what, especially to many young people of the day (like myself) was an anthem and rallying cry for freedom, liberty, and humanity: the Special AKA’s “(Free) Nelson Mandela”.

Watch with us now, sing along, and pay tribute to the man and think about what he meant to you, personally, and to the world:

He meant a hell of a lot to me.
So I say, from me to you, Nelson Mandela, “Amandla awethu!”

The Beat

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