By Elizabeth Willoughby on
December 1, “World AIDS Day”, marks Nelson Mandela's next 46664 AIDS charity concert, this time in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Once the announcement for the concert was made last month, calls from performers began streaming in. Corinne Bailey Rae, Peter Gabriel, Goo Goo Dolls, Jamelia, Annie Lennox, Ludacris and Razorlight immediately booked their appearances, to be held in Ellis Park before an expected audience of 50,000. South African artists like Arno Carstens, Johnny Clegg, Just Jinjer and the Soweto Gospel Choir, and newer groups like The Parlotones and Cassette, and the R&B female trio Jamali, are part of over forty acts who have pledged their support.
This is the fifth 46664 concert since 2003, which seeks to raise money for HIV/AIDS awareness programs in South Africa. Previous performances were also held in Norway and Spain. Founded in 2002, 46664 (Mandela’s prison number during his 27 years on Robben Island, South Africa) is “an African response to the global HIV AIDS epidemic that invites the whole world to take the fight in hand.”
A human rights fighter, liberation leader and former head of state, Mandela uses 46664 to tell the world that all humans are equal, and that no one should be reduced to a number. He seeks to bring this message to the youth through the power of music, sport and celebrity.
Says JOZI, one of the performing artists, “It is always an honour playing for a cause that helps heal the continent.”
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