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A Tribute To Nelson Mandela, The Revolutionary

Okayafrica offers a Nelson Mandela tribute to the revolutionary leader with the books he read and the speeches he made.

It goes without saying that Nelson Mandela has straddled the half century like a colossus. Born in Transkei, South Africa on July 18, 1918, Mandela rose to international prominence as part of the African National Congress (ANC) fighting the white South African government's apartheid system. From his imprisonment in 1962, to the 27 years he spent in prison for his resistance to the National Party's apartheid policies, to the 1994 ANC election victory which made him South Africa's first black president, the highlights of Mandela's biography are well-known.


But he was not always the kindly elder statesman. In A Long Walk to Freedom Mandela outlined his struggle to convince ANC leaders that it was right to include violent resistance among its tactics: "[we] had contended that for the ANC nonviolence was an inviolate principle, not a tactic to be changed as conditions warranted. I myself believed precisely the opposite: that nonviolence was a tactic that should be abandoned when it no longer worked." His commitment to the struggle for justice and an end to white supremacy in South Africa made him a treasonous traitor in the eyes of the National Party, and Western Bloc leaders like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher dubbed him a terrorist, a fact which may well be glossed over in the coming days as today's statesmen pour out their tributes. Here, we remember Mandela, the revolutionary who, at his April 1964 speech at Rivonia, declared:

“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

As part of this reflection on Mandela's profound political, ethical, and intellectual legacy, we've put together a slideshow of some of the authors and books he read during his formative years and as an inmate on Robben Island, where books were forbidden and reading was done in secret. Click through the slideshow above to see the texts that inspired Mandela's revolutionary passion.

Audio

You Need to Hear Juls' New Single 'Saa Ara'


New hip-hop and highlife grooves from the celebrated UK-based Ghanaian producer.

By merging the diverse influence of growing up in Accra and East London, Juls has managed to cultivate a hybrid afrobeats style that has set him apart from the rest.

For his latest single, "Saa Ara," he teams up with award-winning rapper Kwesi Arthur and gifted lyricist Akan.

The brilliant fusion of vintage highlife instrumentals and booming hip-hop beats, along with Kwesi Arthur's lively chorus and Akan's fiery delivery gives the song a very spiritual and classical feel.

Soothe your soul this weekend with these tasteful sounds from Juls.

Listen to "Saa Ara" by Juls featuring Kwesi Arthur and Akan below.

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News Brief

FIFA Refuses To Meet with Nigeria's Sports Minister as Ghana Takes Steps to Avoid Ban

This could jeopardize Nigeria's qualifier against Seychelles in September, while the Ghanaian government has pledged not to dissolve its football association.

In lieu of the ultimatums Nigeria and Ghana's football associations faced from FIFA, one country is on its way to dodge the threat of being banned, while the other is not going down without a fight.

FIFA has refused a proposed meeting with Nigeria's sports minister, Solomon Dalung, to discuss problems in the country's football federation, BBC Sport reports. They say their leadership and the FIFA president is unwilling to meet during the proposed time period.

FIFA is giving the NFF until August 20 for Chris Giwa, who was acknowledged by the courts as the president of the federation, to leave the NFF offices.

Giwa's lawyer Ardzard Habilla asserts that FIFA can't ban Nigeria as the federation's issues need to be sorted out internally by the country's judiciary.

Habilla questions, "Do we take it that FIFA laws are superior to the judgment of the highest court in our land—the Supreme Court, and has FIFA elevated itself before the constitution of Nigeria?"

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Audio

Listen to Prince Kaybee's New South African House Banger 'Banomoya'

Prince Kaybee releases a new tune featuring Busiswa and TNS.

For his latest single, South African house music stalwart Prince Kaybee ropes in the indomitable Busiswa and the vocalist TNS.

In the song, which leans towards deep house, Busiswa delivers her lyrics in chants, as usual, the way kwaito artists and rappers do. She speaks of women who do their own shit and leave the party on their own. It's nothing we wouldn't expect from Busiswa, whose lyrics always touch on female empowerment without being preachy. She uses humor and her infectious personality to get her point across.

TNS finishes the song off the song with a smooth vocal.

Listen to "Banomoya" below:

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