Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mandela Day Concert July 18Th, 09

Nelson Mandela is an inspiration to the world. He was imprisoned for leading the liberation movement against apartheid in South Africa and was in jail for 27 years. All this because he believed that everyone should be given civil rights and be able to live in freedom. After his release he helped lead the transition towards multi-racial democracy in South Africa and became the first democratically elected State President on the 10Th of May in 1994. Since the end of apartheid Mandela has received more than one hundred awards over four decades, most notably the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. "I was not a messiah, but an ordinary man who had become a leader because of extraordinary circumstances." Now he asks everyone to do very simple things to make the world a better place. He would like people to go out into their community and help one another. When one volunteers a small part of their time they help bring the world closer together, as he did. On July 18Th, Mandela's birthday the whole world celebrates what one man was able to do. This is Mandela Day, and every year there is a concert to put on by 46664. This was his number in jail and now is used as a symbol. No one should be reduced to a number. Not even the people that suffer from HIV/Aids. 46664 raises awareness about the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the underlying issues that influence it, such as poverty, lack of education, gender inequality, lack of access to health facilities and the denial of economic opportunities. This years concert was right here in New York at Radio City Music Hall. The show had more entertainers than you could count. Many of them you know and love like Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, and Josh Groban. Lots of them from around the world like Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Zucchero, Baaba Maal, and Carla Bruni. And some Native to NYC like Lil’ Kim, and Wyclef Jean. All Backed by the amazing Soweto Gospel Choir. The musicians where not alone, many of Hollywood's stars came out in support of this great man and his mission. There is no need to type out the whole story because you can watch the video for free on the 46664 web sight, http://www.46664.com/Home.aspx. A rear treat that gives you a better seat that this reporter had. Though this is one live experience that will be treasured.

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