I was recently asked if I would be leaving the country on Day Zero, projected to be 16 April currently, something that had never crossed my mind! It appears that a large number of locals are making plans to leave Cape Town, and reside elsewhere in our country or internationally, where they will have access to water! Quite frankly, I wouldn’t miss Day Zero for anything, as Cape Town will be making world history in being the first city in the world to run out of water! Continue reading →
Whilst the 46664 Mandela Day concert had a low key presence in South Africa, it was sold-out in New York on 18 July, and has been a good marketing coup for South Africa. It was only broadcast on SABC2 last night.
Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Chris Chameleon, Will.i.am, Jesse Clegg, Gloria Gaynor, Dave Stewart, Aretha Franklin, the Soweto Gospel Choir, Wyclef Jean, Cyndi Lauper, Queen Latifah, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Zucchero, Josh Groban, Angelique Kidjo, Freshlyground, Baaba Maal, Jesse McCartney, Loyiso, Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, Vusi Mahlasela, Thandiswa Mazwai, Lil’ Kim, and Suzanna Owiyo performed at a sold-out Radio City Music Hall in New York.
The campaign, which was launched on Nelson Mandela’s 91st birthday, is supported by the Nelson Mandela charities as well as a number of other philanthropists and charitable organisations. It encourages people to continue Mr Mandela’s legacy by “making an imprint” and getting involved in their own communities â€“ ultimately creating a better world for all. In short, Mandela Day celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world, the ability to make an imprint.
“Actress Whoopi Goldberg introduced the concert, thanking the audience for attending such an important event. “You turned out to support the world’s classiest man. Happy 91st birthday, Mr Mandela,” she said, before explaining what 46664 does and the significance of Mandela Day. “46664 is a charity to continue Nelson Mandela’s work, in particular his fight against HIV/AIDS,” she said” says the 466664 website.
Speaking via video, President Obama spoke about how he had been inspired by Nelson Mandela and how it was time for people to take up the challenges the world still faced. “This,” he said, “is the greatest gift that we can give this great man.”
After the address by President Obama the crowd were treated to performances from Will.i.am; Lil’ Kim and Cyndi Lauper performing a version of Time After Time; Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse; and Suzanna Owiyo. Following Owiyo’s performance actor Forest Whitaker introduced Dave Stewart. Whitaker thanked Stewart for all his hard work in helping the 46664 charity before Stewart and Cala Bruni-Sarkozy sang together.
The show’s next act, Jesse McCartney, spoke about the impact that Mr Mandela had on every generation. “He hasn’t only inspired his contemporaries,” McCartney said, “he’s a multi-generational inspiration. Sixty-seven years he’s put in; let’s put in 67 minutes and see what we can do. Come on, let’s make an imprint.”
Actor Morgan Freeman was the next person on stage. He spoke about Mr Mandela’s life in prison and how he had not sought revenge for his incarceration. Freeman then introduced the surprise of the evening â€“ a video message to the audience from Mr Mandela.
“We are humbled by the call to create a Mandela Day,” said Mr Mandela. “It is not a holiday, instead it is a day dedicated to service. We thank you for participating in Mandela Day,” he said to rapturous applause.
“I plan to honour Mandela Day every year,” said Freeman, “and I hope you will too.”
Freeman was followed onstage by by actor and singer Queen Latifah, after which Chris Chameleon and Baaba Maal performed the Mandela Day theme tune With My Own Two Hands. Zucchero was next on stage, before former tennis great, Billie Jean King, introduced Josh Groban, telling the audience how Groban’s meeting with Madiba had inspired him to raise over $2-million for needy children.
Groban performed a track on his own before Vusi Mahlasela joined him on stage to perform Weeping. Mahlasela then performed When You Come Back, before Loyiso and then Thandiswa Mazwai graced the stage.
Actor Tim Robbins introduced Wyclef Jean, hailing him as someone who had adopted the selfless attitude and commitment to helping his community that was the message of Mandela Day.
Jean was followed by Jesse Clegg, who, together with Freshlyground, performed Asimbonanga.
Radio host Tom Joyner introduced Aretha Franklin, who was joined on stage by Groban to perform You Raise Me Up.
Actor Susan Sarandon introduced Alicia Keys and Angelique Kidjo, who were followed by the Soweto Gospel Choir before Stevie Wonder became the last artist to perform in the inaugural Mandela Day concert.
Wonder was joined on stage by the entire cast, who sang Happy Birthday, bringing down the “curtain” on what was described by 46664’s head of content, Cosmo Caddy, as a “fantastic success”.
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