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wonders never cease Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Fifteen Songs for Freedom

Twenty five years ago today, Nelson Mandela was released from prison after spending 27 years being punished for his efforts to bring down the apartheid government of South Africa. We will never forget the feeling of hope we felt for South Africa and humanity when Mandela walked onto the balcony of City Hall in Cape Town and addressed the crowd gathered to welcome him. His ability to forgive his persecutors and work tirelessly to heal a nation torn apart by decades of oppression and conflict inspired us to try and be better in our own lives. We celebrated his life when he passed away in 2013 but did so with the sadness of loss. Today, on the anniversary of his liberation, we want to celebrate his freedom. We’ve compiled fifteen songs to represent the moment and the movement and paired them with fifteen relevant quotes from the Nobel Prize winner himself. As always, in the Spotify play list, there are bonus songs and some inspiring words from the great man after he was elected South Africa’s first black executive. Rest in peace, Tata Madiba. You are missed but not forgotten.

1. Freedom Now – Tracy Chapman
“To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

2. Asimbonanga (Mandela) – Johnny Clegg & Savuka
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

3. Ordinary Love – U2
“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”

4. Rolihlahla – Lalela Cape Town Choir
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

5. Gimme Hope Jo’anna – Eddy Grant
“To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.”

6. Thank You Mr. Mandela – Carlene Davis
“There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

7. Nelson Mandela – The Specials
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

8. Black President – Brenda Fassie
“There are times when a leader must move out ahead of the flock, go off in a new direction, confident that he is leading his people the right way.”

9. Apartheid – Peter Tosh
“There are many people who feel that it is useless and futile to continue talking about peace and non-violence against a government whose only reply is savage attacks on an unarmed and defenseless people.”

10. Long Road To Freedom – Umoja
“There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.”

11. Nkosi Sikele l’Africa – Ladysmith Black Mambazo
“I will not leave South Africa, nor will I surrender. Only through hardship, sacrifice and militant action can freedom be won. The struggle is my life. I will continue fighting for freedom until the end of my days.”

12. Thank You For Freedom – Idris Elba
“Our single most important challenge is therefore to help establish a social order in which the freedom of the individual will truly mean the freedom of the individual.”

13. Give Us Our Land (Mabayeke) – Harry Belafonte and Miriam Makeba
“Any man or institution that tries to rob me of my dignity will lose.”

14. Celebrate! (Mandela’s Freedom) – Pato Banton
“Let freedom reign. The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement.”

15. Mandela Day – DJ Vee
“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.”

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wonders never cease