The international electronic music community has been paying tribute to former South African President Nelson Mandela, who has died aged 95. Mandela was imprisoned by the Apartheid regime for 27 years, yet following his release he showed great humility in pushing for universal reconciliation.
“Nelson Mandela showed us the true meaning of courage, hope and reconciliation,” wrote Chuckie on Twitter. “RIP.”
“I had the opportunity to sit in Mandela's cell and tour Robben Island, such a powerful experience. RIP,” said DJ Zinc.
“So sad a day but we should be so grateful that a man like Nelson Mandela lived,” tweeted David Guetta. “He truly changed our world. Together we can too.”
“I actually met Nelson Mandela a few years ago, I still feel his handshake,” said Damian Lazarus. “Most powerful man of our generation. RIP master of spirit.”
Dave Clarke, Carl Craig, DJ Marky, Plastician, Sebastian Ingrosso, Erol Alkan, Pete Tong, Scuba, Roska, Terror Danjah, Sharam, Yousef, Bobina, Skream, Lee Foss, Jesse Rose, Showtek, Boys Noize, Tocadisco, Hardwell, Justin Robertson, Barry Ashworth, Mathew Jonson, Bob Sinclar and Diplo were just some of the DJs who took time out from tweeting about their upcoming gigs or releases to pay tribute to the great statesman. Eats Everything suggested that 'Free Nelson Mandela' by Jerry Dammers' The Special AKA be the Christmas No.1. “It's the only choice,” he said.
Mandela was jailed in 1962 for campaigning against Apartheid, the system of racial segregation in South Africa that propped up white minority rule. Blacks weren't allowed to vote, so Mandela and the African National Congress (ANC) pushed for one-person, one-vote.
He spent 27 years in prison, including 18 years on Robben Island, yet on his release in 1990 — after a worldwide campaign — he pursued a policy of reconciliation. “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison,” Mandela later wrote.
“You will achieve more in this world through acts of mercy than you will through acts of retribution.”
Mandela's humility helped pilot South Africa through its transition into a peaceful democracy, and his statesmanship has had a profound affect on the world.
Detroit techno pioneer Derrick May summed this up with the Mandela quote he posted on his social media. “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. Brave man is not the man who does not feel afraid, but the man who conquers that fear.”
Coincidentally, Mandela's death coincided with the UK premiere of a new film profiling his extraordinary life — starring dance music fan Idris Elba.
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