The recent death of revolutionary icon Nelson Mandela had me thinking about the first time I discovered who he was and what and who he was fighting for…it was through a song that I heard during a visit to Ireland in 1985. It always stuck with me – so much so that I bought the cassette (sign of the times) and, over the years, found myself humming it from time to time.

The Specials, a ska revival band from the United Kingdom had just released a single in 1984 “(Free) Nelson Mandela“. It would be several more years until Mandela was released from prison, but songs like this brought light to Mandela’s imprisonment, and became popular with anti-Apartheid activists in South Africa. 

Long live Madiba!


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