Concert Celebrates Mandela’s 90th Birthday

27 06 2008

With a crowd of 46,664 cheering supporters, Former South African prisoner, president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela was the center of attention for a concert celebrating his 90th birthday in London’s Hyde Park.

Proceeds from the celebration concert will go toward the 46664 Campaign, which Mandela founded in 2003 to raise awareness about the impact of AIDS, especially in Africa, and to promote HIV-prevention measures around the world. The name of the charity represents Mandela’s prison number when he was incarcerated at Robben Island. Organizers put 46,664 tickets up for sale.

With A-list celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Bill Clinton, Robert De Niro, Amy Winehouse, Queen, Annie Lennox and Quincy Jones on hand, Mandela celebrated in the very spot where 20 years earlier another concert took place to raise awareness of his imprisonment.

In order to bring Mandela the hero onstage, it took a superhero to make the introduction. Hancock himself, Smith did the honors by excitedly exclaiming, “The one, the only, the birthday boy, Nelson Mandela, Nelson Mandelaaaaaaaaaa.”

To loud cheers, Mandela told the vocal crowd: “Your voices carried across the water to inspire us in our prison cells far away. Tonight we can stand before you free.

“We are honored to be back in London for this wonderful occasion.

“But even as we celebrate let us remind ourselves that our work is far from complete.

“Where there is poverty and sickness, including AIDS; where human beings are being oppressed there is more work to be done. Our work is for freedom for all.”

While in prison, Mandela became recognized as the most significant black leader in South Africa and he became a potent symbol of resistance in the anti-apartheid movement. Mandela consistently refused to compromise his political position to obtain his freedom.

Organizers say Mandela plans to use his 90th concert to mark the start of his retirement.

The former South African president, who turns 90 on July 18.




One response

15 07 2008
concerts in park

[…] was the center of attention for a concert celebrating his 90th birthday in London??s Hyde Park. Jovi to give free concert in New York City From Live Daily’s website: By Jon Zahlaway LiveDaily […]

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