Nelson Mandela today (Oct. 21) in London launched a global initiative to raise awareness of the devastating impact of AIDS/HIV in Africa. Part of the campaign is a Nov. 29 concert at Greenpoint Stadiu
Nelson Mandela today (Oct. 21) in London launched a global initiative to raise awareness of the devastating impact of AIDS/HIV in Africa, using music to reach people worldwide as well as pressuring governments to respond to the pandemic as an international emergency.
Titled 46664 after Mandela's prison number during his 18 years on Robben Island in Cape Town, and sub-titled "Give 1 Minute of Your Life to Stop Aids," the campaign launches today but will have its most public presence at a forthcoming concert in association with MTV's Staying Alive initiative.
Set for Nov. 29 at Greenpoint Stadium in Cape Town, the 46664 concert will feature performances from Beyonce, Bono, Moloko, Anastacia, Queen, and the Eurythmics. They will join a slate of African artists that includes Baaba Maal and Angelique Kidjo and South Africa's own Johnny Clegg, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Bongo Maffin and Danny K. More artists will be announced in the weeks to come.
The concert will take place in front of an audience of 40 000 and will be broadcast live on the Internet. It will premiere on MTV channels globally on World Aids Day (Dec. 1). South Africa's national broadcaster, the SABC, will air the concert live and the European Broadcasting Union will distribute the program to 71 member broadcasters in 28 countries. The BBC World Service will air the concert as a special radio broadcast in 13 languages. The show will also be released on CD and DVD.
"We aim to have 20 international performers and around 15 African ones," local promoter Roddy Quin of Real Concerts said today. "The four-hour concert will contain individual performances as well as many collaborations and it's set to be one of the biggest ever to take place on South African soil."
Diego Massidoa, the managing director of Internet provider Tiscali in South Africa, said it was fitting the concert would take place on a continent which sees around 30 million people affected by the HIV virus and AIDS. "Africa is hardest hit by this pandemic and this initiative will play a crucial role in raising awareness and pressuring governments and of course generating funds," he said.
Fans will be able to purchase exclusive 46664 music tracks online, penned and recorded by the late Joe Strummer, Bono, Youssou N'Dour and Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics, who conceived the campaign in partnership with the Mandela Foundation and Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen. A new track will be posted each week on the event's official Web site.
A massive Mandela-led concert was planned for this February, but was canceled because of problems with broadcast rights and sponsorship. Bono, Macy Gray and Shaggy were among the acts that had signed on.