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South Africans Remember Nelson Mandela's Historic Release from Prison

Thirty years ago today, the late anti-Apartheid veteran Nelson Mandela was released from prison after spending nearly three decades behind bars.

Today is the 30th anniversary of the late South African anti-Apartheid veteran Nelson Mandela's historic release from prison.

Mandela or Madiba, as he was affectionately known, was released from the Victor Verster Prison, now known as the Drakenstein Correctional Centre, after serving the remaining 14 months of his 27-year long sentence.


Thirty years ago today, Mandela walked the streets as a free man alongside Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and hundreds of fellow African National Congress (ANC) comrades. It was a historic day for Black South Africans and thousands came out to celebrate the moment and to listen to Mandela speak.

Following the infamous Rivonia Trial which took place from 1963-1964, Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Andrew Mlangeni and several others struggle veterans were sentenced to prison.

Mandela's 27-year long sentence was split between three prisons. The first prison, and perhaps the better known of the three, was located on Robben Island and saw Mandela spending 18 years there as prisoner "4664". In 1982, he was then moved to Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town and finally, Victor Verster Prison following health problems.

As part of alleged efforts to prevent further bloodshed and a smooth transition into democracy, then President F.W. de Klerk announced that he would release Mandela from prison.

Years later, South Africans are still examining the different ways in which Mandela's legacy has and is being engaged. While some mourn the fact that Mandela's ANC is no longer the same liberation movement that now rules the country, others express hope at the country's political landscape becoming better. A number of commemorative events are taking place across South Africa today in remembrance of that historic day.

Take a look at some of the tributes in remembrance of Mandela's release below:







Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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