Artist Health, Law & Policy, Music

4 Great Songs By African Artists Celebrating the Formidable Nelson Mandela (R.I.P)


Today, Africa and the world mourns the death of a man who simply changed the world, the great Nelson Mandela. What a rich legacy he has left for us. There are so many amazing tributes that I am sure will flow and are already flowing. Nevertheless, I wanted to share my own African inspired legal tribute to him.

Indeed, for me, there is no other poignant example of the difference one person can make, through the legal justice system in his/her country, continent and the world, than the great Mandela. He was brilliant, compassionate and fearless.

May his soul rest in peace and may we follow his example, however small our efforts may be, in making a positive difference in our lives and those around us.

God bless.


N’Kosi Sikeleli Africa


1. Victory by X. O Senavoe – One of my all time modern and favorite songs that captures the fight for the poor, the outcast, and for an equitable legal justice system for all in Africa. The opening starts with statements made by the late Nelson Mandela in an historic trial where he represented himself. Amazing, amazing song.

2. My Black President by Brenda Fassie remains a great tribute to Mandela. It chronicles the legal injustice against him and the South African people.

3. Free Mandela by Majek Fashek  – I recall singing this song as a child, so much so I literally felt like I was the artist and had left my heart on the ground, when I would sing it. An amazing classic.

4. Asimbonanga by Johnny Clegg & Savuka  – I still remember watching my first film on apartheid and learning about Mandela. I was so pained. It was also during that period I also heard classic songs like Asimbonanga.

Chronology of Nelson Mandela’s Life

“18 July 1918
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela born in Mvezo, South Africa

Joins the African National Congress (ANC)

Founds the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) with others

Elected as National Secretary of the ANCYL

Launch of the “Defiance” Campaign, a massive civil disobedience campaign against unjust laws.
Mandela is elected National Volunteer-in-Chief for the campaign

1956 to 1961
Mandela one of 156 accused in the Treason Trial

21 March 1960
Sharpeville massacre, during which 69 men, women and children are killed and about 200 wounded.
The government soon declares a state of emergency and arrests about 18,000 protesters. The ANC is banned and Mandela goes underground

Formation of the ANC’s armed movement, Umkhonto we Sizwe (“Spear of the Nation”), with Mandela as commander-in-chief

Mandela travels to other parts of Africa and Europe

5 August 1962
Mandela arrested for illegal exit from the country and incitement to strike. He is convicted and sentenced to five years imprisonment

July 1963
Arrest of prominent ANC leaders at Rivonia. Mandela is accused with them

12 June 1964
Sentenced to life imprisonment and sent to Robben Island (later moved to Pollsmoor Prison and then Victor Verster Prison)

Amidst prolonged mass protests against the apartheid system, the ANC initiates talks with the regime

February 1990
Released from prison

Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (along with F.W. de Klerk)

27 April 1994
First multi-racial elections held in South Africa with full enfranchisement, with the ANC winning a strong majority

10 May 1994
Inaugurated as South Africa’s first democratically elected president, standing down in 1999 after one term

5 December 2013
Nelson Mandela passed away in Johannesburg at the age of 95” –


“Nelson Mandela speech delivered at the Nelson Mandela: An International tribute to Free South Africa concert on 16/4/1990,at Wembley stadium, two months after his release from prison on 11/2/1990. (speech starts at 5:36)”

WATCH THE WHITE HO– USE TRIBUTE IN 1994 TO THE GREAT MAN “Courtesy; William J. Clinton Presidential Library

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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

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