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Nelson Mandela: Article Archive


Welcome to the Nelson Mandela news archive. This is a collection of stories, speeches, slide-shows and videos about key news moments and personal Madiba memories.


46664 (said as four double six, six four) has become an iconic number globally. This was the number used to identify one of the world's most famous prisoners who went on to become one of its best known leaders, the legend of South African politics and SA's first democratically elected president, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island, off the shores of Cape Town, South Africa, in 1964. He was the 466th prisoner to be arrested in May of that year.

Prisoner 46664 was jailed for 27 years (18 of them would be spent on the Island) for leading the liberation movement against apartheid and for his impassioned stance on the rights of everyone to equality and freedom.

It was for the same reason that Mandela chose to use the symbolic number in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Using this number, Mandela and his foundation, The Nelson Mandela Foundation, along with more than 90 "ambassadors", have leant a hand in raising awareness and funds for the pandemic that affects millions of people. The campaign has made it an aim to gain global backing for the fight against HIV/AIDS, raising awareness and funds to assist the many HIV/AIDS projects it supports. These include The Foundation for Development (FDC) in Mozambique started by Graça Machel to provide for the basic needs of vulnerable communities. Among these are communities devastated by HIV AIDS, The African Women's Development Fund and The Nelson Mandela Childrens Fund.

Under the umbrella of this number, international artists and celebrities have gathered to celebrate Nelson Mandela's birthday since 2003 raising awareness through concerts that have been screened across the world.

The first event was held on November 29, 2003, at Green Point Stadium in Cape Town.It brought together more than 25 acclaimed local and international artists.

US talkshow host, Oprah Winfrey, a long-time supporter of Nelson Mandela joined Beyoncé Knowles on stage for her rendition of "Crazy."

Out of that other means of raising funds were created by releasing series' of DVDs and CDs titled: 46664 The Event.

The 2005 46664 concert took place on March 10 in George, a small town in the Eastern Cape. It was held at the Fancourt Country Club and Golfing Estate and hosted by US actor Will Smith with performances by singer and activist Annie Lennox, jazz artist Katie Melua, and rock band Queen with Paul Rodgers.

In an interview with The Press and Journal, jazz singer Melua said that sharing of a stage with the legendary Queen at the concert was a dream come true. She had been a fan of the band since she was a child.

"That was pretty cool," Melua was quoted as saying.

Watch the rehersal video of Queen and Paul Rodgers ahead of the concert in George.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJ2gO0TOFtc

A month later, the 46664 concept launched in Europe for the first time in a campaign known as 46664 Espana, in Madrid, Spain. More than 40 Spanish-speaking artists gathered for a three-day festival called 46664 Festival Madrid.

The next leg of the European launch saw a concert take place in Tromso, Norway on June 11, called 46664 Arctic Concert.

Twenty acts including South African Afro-pop group Bongo Maffin, Norwegian singer Noora Noor, and British band Razorlight gathered for a six-hour show.

Brian May and Zuccherro also performed at the show. Watch some footage here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBHJ_emkRNE&feature=PlayList&p=31F08DC8D8D8C96B&playnext=1&index=46

On December 1, 2007, the 46664 concert made its way back to its birthplace and was held in Johannesburg at Ellis Park Stadium to mark World Aids Day he show was attended by thousands of people eager to get a glimpse of US rapper Ludacris, rock band Goo Goo Dolls and British artists Jamelia and Corinne Bailey Rae among other international and local performers.

Listen to Nelson Mandela's Speech at the 46664 Concert in Johannesburg. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-G6sKMP_RZ0)

In 2008 the biggest concert was held in London's Hyde Park to celebrate Mandela's 90th birthday on June 27. When the concert was announced Mandela said: "You all know that I am supposed to be retired but my friends and the charitable organisations that bear my name want to use my 90th birthday year to raise funds to continue our work and so of course I want to help them. So, we have a bargain - I am going to London and they will host a concert in Hyde Park, which will raise awareness of our continuing work and much needed funds."The organisers aimed to sell 46664 tickets, and they did.Star appearances included those by Josh Groban, Queen + Paul Rodgers, Annie Lennox, Simple Minds, Jerry Dammers, Amy Winehouse , Sugababes, Razorlight, Eddy Grant , Joan Baez and Jamelia.

Again US actor Smith opened the concert with his wife Jada Pinkett Smith and later performed his song, "Switch".

Famous music producer Quincy Jones  introduced British artist Leona Lewis

Other celebrities who made an appearance included Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton Peter Gabriel and former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell. They were joined by South African artists Johnny Clegg, Sipho Hotstix Mabuse, Loyiso Bala, Vusi Mahlasela , the Soweto Gospel Choir, See footage from the 46664 Concert in London honoring Mandela

Since the concerts began, the 46664 campaign has gathered more than 90 "ambassadors" globally to spread awareness of HIV/AIDS while raising funds for people affected and infected by the disease.

Mandela's appearance at the 2008 concert was an emotion-filled moment for those watching as this was his final public engagement for 46664. In stepping down from his campaign work he handed the 46664 mantle to his ambassadors and the people of the world to carry on the work he started and to use music concerts to deliver his message of the 46664 campaign: "It's in our hands".

There is no doubt that the legacy of his powerful name and prisoner number will live on, well beyond his passing.

The 46664 Ambassadors are: Abdel Wright, Adjagas, Amaral, Amitabh Bachchan, Anastacia, Ane Brun, Angelique Kidjo, Anneli Drecker, Annie Lennox, Arno Carstens, Beyoncé Knowles, Blk Sonshine, Bob Geldof, Bongo Maffin, Bono, Brad Pitt, Brian May, Carmen Paris, Cassette, Cofield Mundi, Corinne Bailey Rae, Danny K, Dave Stewart, Diana Navarro,Dionne Warwick, Dozi, Earth Affair, El Canto Del Loco, El sueno de Morfeo, Estopa,Fabula, Freshly Ground, Gold Fish, Goo Goo Dolls, India Arie, Ismael Serrano, Jamali, Jamelia, Jimmy Cliff, Jiyan Gasparyan, Johnny Clegg, Josh Groban, Jozi, Just Jinjer, Kabelo, Kaizer Orchestra, Karen Zoid, Katie Melua, Kim Engelbrecht, La Sonrisa de Julia, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Lee-Anne Manas, Live, Louise Carver, Loyiso Bala, Ludacris, Luis Figo, Mudrugada, Mafikizolo, Malaika, Mandoza, Mel Botes, Ms Dynamite, Nina Pastori, Noora Noor, Pasion Vega, Paul Dones, Paul Oskenfold, Paul Rodgers, Pereza, Peter Gabriel, Prime Circle, Queco, Razorlight, Robert Plant, Roger Taylor, soccer player Ronaldo, Saybia, Sergio Dalma, Soweto Gospel Choir Spike Edney, The Corrs, The Edge, Thomas Dybdahl, Treana Morris, Vusi Mahlasela, Watershed, Will Smith, Youssou N' Dour, Yusef Islam, Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Zucchero. Sources:


A life in cartoons

Nelson Mandela Childrens Fund

In 1995 the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund was established,with the vision of improving the lives of children and the youth. The fund also operates in four other countries. Learn more here