In November 2009, the United Nations officially declared 18 July which is Mandela’s birthday, as Nelson Mandela Day in an effort to honor Mandela’s values, recognize his dedication to the service of humanity and acknowledge his contribution to the struggle for democracy.
It is another 18 July and people the world over still recognize the contributions of the late South African leader.
African’s are not to be left behind in this recognition. South African rapper Emtee and Nigerian singer Harrysong combined their talents to record a song ahead of this year’s Nelson Mandela Day.
The song is titled ‘Mandela (We Wish Not To Let You Go)’ and it was released on Tuesday the 12th of July. It pays tribute to the great man.
The song is a great way to remember Mandela on this particular Nelson Mandela day. It opens up with Harrysong expressing his love for the iconic figure. Emtee later joins and makes a comparison of certain aspects of his life with Mandela’s.
Of course, this is not the first song of tribute to Nelson Mandela. While he was alive and in fact still in prison, he has been celebrated in songs running across different genres and styles.
Some of these songs include ‘Free Nelson Mandela’ by UK band The Specials, ‘Mandela’ (Bring Him Back Home) by Hugh Masekela, ‘Asimbonanga’ by Johnny Clegg and ‘When You Come Back’ by Vusi Mahlasela among countless others.
This new song is actually Harrysong’s second version of a tribute to Mandela. The first version which he had simply titled ‘Mandela’, won the Most Downloaded Callertune category at The Headies in 2013.
It is amazing that even three years after his death, Nelson Mandela is still able to bring Africans together for good, even if this time around, it is only to celebrate him.
Happy Nelson Mandela day.