CT's memorial concert hailed as 'the best'

The memorial concert to Nelson Mandela in Cape Town has been described as a fitting send off.

Crowds sing “Shosholoza” at Francois Pienaar’s request during Cape Town Madiba memorial. Picture: Stephen Phillipson

CAPE TOWN - Cape Town's tribute to former President Nelson Mandela on Wednesday has been hailed as a fitting send off for the global icon.

That's the word from many people who were among the crowd of thousands that attended the concert in honour of Madiba at the Cape Town Stadium.


Many Capetonians who have experienced the struggle firsthand say it was the traditional songs that took them back and made them appreciate what Madiba did even more.

"A few songs that were sung really made me think way back to when times were tough but the unity made all the hurt become easily forgotten."

Some say this week has been an emotional rollercoaster both celebrating and mourning Tata Madiba.

"It was very emotional for me. I had to go away for a few minutes because of the heartache."

Although many say they had an opportunity to bid Madiba farewell, they hope to get closure after his burial on Sunday.


Some well-known South African personalities, who paid tribute to Madiba at the Cape Town memorial, received resounding responses from the crowd.

Unlike the booing of President Jacob Zuma at the FNB Stadium during Mandela's Johannesburg memorial in Johannesburg, the crowd in the Cape cheered for everyone who took to the stage.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille shared her feelings with the crowd about seeing Mandela lying in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

"I saw him, his face at peace, a face that must symbolise, both in its physical features and its spiritual features, everything that we must become as a nation."

Springbok legend Francois Pienaar said, "On behalf of the sporting teams and sports stars across our country, our deepest condolences to the Mandela family and our heartfelt thank you to our spiritual coach and captain, Madiba."


For many mourners at the tribute memorial/concert, Nelson Mandela: A Life Celebrated, it was a split between the Bala brothers and Johnny Clegg who made the evening even more memorable.

Freshly Ground, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Annie Lennox, who also performed, were also praised for their contributions.