In response to the high wattage, celebrity-sprinkled (Will Smith, Amy Winehouse, and Leona Lewis performed) pre-birthday concert bash held in London’s Hyde Park on June 27th to mark Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday, South Africa’s political party, the African National Congress, is bringing the celebration back to “the people.”
ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe says, “The people and the society made Mandela, not London or Houghton. That is why we want his birthday to be celebrated by the people.”
Mantashe has announced plans for a rally in Pretoria, South Africa on August 2nd that would include performances by local artists paying tribute to one of the key figures of the South African liberation struggle. This week also marks the 10-year anniversary of Mandela’s marriage to third wife Graca Machel, the former wife of Mozambique president Samora Machel.