Imelda May and Lisa O'Neill join Imagining Ireland at Barbican
15th Jan 2020
The Father of our nation, Nelson Mandela, has finished his journey. One wants to think in terms of big words when describing him, but this would not be right. Among the many things one can say about our Madiba (Nelson Mandela's tribal name) is that he never thought himself as big. He was one of us; one of the people. His journey was our journey. And although he has physically left us now, his journey continues within us all.
Nelson Mandela was one of us but he was able to change our nation because of his incredible will, his dignity and his humanity. We are often asked about our most memorable career moments. The expected answer is usually about work with famous entertainers or about winning Grammy Awards. This is not so. Our most memorable moment was in 1993 when Nelson Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Madiba asked us to join him on this trip to receive the award in Norway, to sing and to represent our nation. He would say to us that we are South Africa‘s “Cultural Ambassadors” to the world. We took this honor very seriously.
Now, it's left for all of us to carry on his mission. We must continue the journey of making not just South Africa, but the whole world, a peaceful, forgiving place. If we all keep Mandela's way within us, we can achieve greatness. As we continue our own journey of spreading a message of "Peace, Love and Harmony," we re-dedicate ourselves to Nelson Mandela and his dream of a Rainbow Nation, a Rainbow World, in fact.
May his journey continue in the soul and spirits of all who were touched by him.
Thank you all very much.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo
6 December 2013