Friday, December 06, 2013

Nelson Mandela RIP

I have been listening to the tributes that have been pouring forth today following the death of Nelson
Mandela. Mandela was a hero of mine, as I have said in the blog on several occasions (the other main ones being Martin Luther King and Sam Cooke). His statemanship and generosity of spirtit rightly earned him respect throughout the world and I recall the day in 1990 that he was released after 27 years in prison in South Africa as a day of great joy and hope.
I never met him face to face but I do recall seeing him in the flesh when he made his triumphal visit to London in 1996. I attended the concert at the Royal Albert Hall attended by the Queen and Prince Charles at which Phil Collins, Quincy Jones, Tony Bennett, Hugh Masekela and Ladysmith Black Mambazo performed. I was with a group of banking executives and journalists in a box and the royal party with Mandela was in a neighbouring box. Nelson got up and danced as the show went on, showing great rhythm and style. Prince Charles must have felt that it was his duty to join in and tried to emulate him by standing up and attempting to dance, but with rather less
grace and quite of bit of stiffness. At least he tried.
In 2007 I went to Cape Town for the first time and took the opportunity of visiting Robben Island, where Mandela spent much of his imprisonment. It was a moving experience and my photo shows the tiny cell where the great man was incarcerated.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home