In the lead up to Nelson Mandela’s 92nd birthday on July 18th, the Nelson Mandela Foundation held the Legacy Gala Dinner where some of South Africa’s top artists performed, leading fashion and jewellery designers created pieces inspired by Madiba’s legacy and values and these pieces and other memorabilia were auctioned. Madiba has lived a rich live that can serve as an example for all of us and key to events such as the Legacy Dinner, as well as Mandela Day, is for all of us to draw inspiration from his life and his legacy to create a future we can all be proud of.
I was fortunate enough to be commissioned to write the script for the host of the event, Basetsana Kumalo, as well as attend a special tribute performance at Sony’s 3D Experience Pavilion which has been in Nelson Mandela Square for the duration of the World Cup. As a tribute to Nelson Mandela by Sony Corporation and Sony Music Entertainment, the wonderfully talented singer, Lira, performed what is said to be one of Nelson Mandela’s favourite songs, (Something Inside) So Strong, by British poet, songwriter and singer, Labi Siffre.
Performing live with the Soweto Spiritual Singers (who recorded Sign of a Victory with R.Kelly), but shown in 3D in the Pavilion, Lira showed why she is a multi-award winning and multi-platinum selling artist whose work is gaining respect worldwide. I truly believe she is one of the next generation of amazing South African singers in the vein of Miriam Makeba, Abigail Kubeka, Thandi Klaasen, etc. She still has years to truly build such careers but she is on the right path.
In attendance were SA football great, Lucas Radebe, as well as Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Mbuso Mandela, and the performance was broadcast live on the Nelson Mandela Foundation Home Page.