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Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (Xhosa pronunciation: [xoˈliːɬaɬa manˈdeːla]) (18 July 1918 - 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary who was imprisoned and then became a politician and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the first black South African to hold the office, and the first elected in a fully representative election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling institutionalised racism, poverty and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation. Politically an African nationalist and democratic socialist, he served as the President of the African National
Congress (ANC) from 1991 to 1997. Internationally, Mandela was the Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1998 to 1999.
Mandela was a controversial figure for much of his life, he became widely popular during the last two decades following his release. Despite a minority of critics who continued to denounce him as a communist and/or terrorist, he nevertheless gained international acclaim for his activism, having received more than 250 honours, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Soviet Order of Lenin and the Bharat Ratna. He is held in deep respect within South Africa, where he is often referred to by his Xhosa clan name, Madiba, or as Tata ("Father
"); he is often described as "the father of the nation". Mandela died following a long illness on 5 December 2013, aged 95, at his home in Johannesburg.
Songs protesting apartheid and praising Mandela were written throughout the 1980s and up through his release from prison in 1990, from Eddy Grant's "Gimme Hope Jo'Anna" to Steve Van Zandt's all-star "Sun City," featuring Bruce Springsteen, Miles Davis and many other performers, which called for artists to refuse to play in South Africa. Songs directly about Mandela included a Bono-Joe Strummer collaboration, "46664"; "Free Nelson
Mandela," by Special A.K.A., an off-shoot of the Specials, and Simple
Minds' "Mandela Day."
As the world mourns the loss of Mandela, 95, here are ten of our favorites presented in tribute. Please use the comments field below to let us know what we missed. RIP.
1. Free Nelson Mandela, The Specials
2. Mandela (Bring Him Back Home), Hugh Masekela
3. Mandela Day, Simple Minds
4. Ordinary Love, U2
5. Nelson Mandela Song, Nomfusi & The Lucky Charms
6. Give Me Hope Joanna, Eddy Grant
7. Black President, Brenda Fassie
8. House of Exile, Lucky Dube
9. Sooner Than Later, Kent O'Shea
10. Number 46664, Bono, Joe Strummer and Dave Stewart