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"I join these musicians..."

06-11-1997 by Nelson Mandela

 Foreword of the book "Woza Africa!" Come on Africa!   



In centuries of struggle against racial domination, South Africans of all colours and backgrounds proclaimed freedom and justice as their unquenchable aspiration. They pledged loyalty to a country which belongs to all who live in it. Those who sought their own freedom in the domination of others were doomed in time to ignominious failure.

Out of such experience was born the understanding that there could be no lasting peace, no casting security, no prosperity in this land unless all enjoyed freedom and justice as equals, as well as the vision of a free South Africa, of a nation united in diversity and working together to build a better life for all. Our nation emerged from the darkest night into the bright dawn of freedom and democracy.

To the extent that the en tire continent of Africa took active part in liberating her southern-most tip, to that extent can the continent as a whole - free at last - join hands in pursuit of her rennaissance. Among other challenges, this means giving free reign to her people's intellectual, cultural, economic and political enterprise. It means creating an environment in which democracy, tolerance, human rights and justice find expression under the African sun. It means ridding the continent of internecine conflict wherever it rears its ugly head; and ensuring that Africa's children can play with gay abandon in the knowledge that their future is secure.

I commend this initiative of the International Committee of the Red Cross to promote Africa's rebirth as a vibrant, peaceful and prosperous continent. I join these musicians in appealing to all Africans to make Africa a continent of our dreams.

 Nelson Mandela  


 Republic of South Africa  

 August 1997