Johhny Clegg, Nelson Mandela

I’ve known who Nelson Mandela is, because my dad has talked about him for as long as i can remember. I was very young when he was elected president, but my dad was terribly happy. I was just a kid and really didn’t pay much attention.

Now, i realize just how big an issue it was. My friends, well, one of them, tells me that Africa is in my blood, even though I’m Mexican-American (yes i said Mexican, not Hispanic-American) because i care about the genocide in Darfur, and i feel strongly about genocide in general, but my awakening was because of Rwanda.

About three months ago, I stumbled across Johnny Clegg’s music while looking up information on South Africa. So i bought some of his music and i was blown away by its beauty, its message and the beat.

So i looked him up. He founded the first mixed band in South Africa, Juluka. Some people call him Le Zoulu Blanc, because of his love of Zulu dance and music, but what is important, is that he did this in a time when i was taboo, when it was not right from a white man and a black man to dance or sing together. This has made me take a closer look at South African history. And especially Nelson Mandela.

And in the process of Nelson Mandela, i found 46664, an organization working to prevent AIDS in Africa. Which I plan on helping later on. I found the charity concert online and i was much impressed.

I don’t think i need to talk about Nelson Mandela’s history. But i will, just because i figure that not many people know his history, or sadly, even who he is.

Nelson Mandela was in prison for thirty yeas, more or less, i’m not certain of the exact number. But he was arrested in 1964, and he was number 466, hence the number 46664. Eventually he was released from pricon and he was elected president in 1994. He was one of those who spearheaded the South African equal rights movement, by first becoming an icon, and then by taking the presidency.

I still alot to learn of him, obviously, and now i have his book, and i need to read it. I need more research and more perspective. So that is another project that i have to work with, in addition to working though Ursula K. LeGuin’s works, and other things that are on my mind.

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