Music for Mandela” explores the role music played in the remarkable life of one of the world’s most important icons. The effects of this relationship continue to ripple through the poorest South African townships as well as the world stage.
From Nelson Mandela singing at his own prison concert to the present day celebrations of his legacy, the music born out of his inspirational journey is commented on by his closest friends, former exiled musicians, current international artists and community volunteers who use music today to motivate and educate. The documentary also explores what music means to all South Africans and how it became both a unifying force and weapon against apartheid.
Musical performances include celebrated artist Vusi Mahlasela, Grammy award-winning group Ladysmith Black Mambazo and new music from the internationally acclaimed Soweto Gospel Choir. Interviews include the legendary BB King, Sean Paul, Estelle, Welsh opera star Katherine Jenkins and Mandela’s grandson – hip hop artist Bambatha Mandela.
Combining striking visuals with freedom songs, pop music and hip hop, “Music for Mandela” is both a stirring tribute to the man himself and to the ultimate power of music.
This documentary chronicles the life and struggles of Nelson Mandela. The music plays an important role in the anti-apartheid movement because it provided a political platform of rebellion against the harsh government rule. It also became sort of an underground newspaper, passing information from group to group. When the police would ask why groups of blacks were congregating, they would say, “we’re just singing.”
Recordings were declared “undesirable” and could not be circulated, and became black market albums. The radio in South Africa was censored, however, the neighboring nations in Africa were able to broadcast news and information into the country.
We are pleased to give “Music for Mandela” the Dove Seal for audiences ages 12 and above. The subject matter will be appreciated by older viewers who understand the racial and political times in South Africa.