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Nelson Mandela Foundation hosts a Benefit Concert for AIDS
an article by Donna Goodman and Elliot Goodman Lee

The 46664 concert in association with MTVís Staying Alive initiative took place on Saturday, November 29th at Green Point Stadium in Cape Town, South Africa.

46664 was the prison number of Nelson Mandela on Robben Island, Cape Town where he was held captive for 18 years.

This concert was a great example of how people can make a difference locally and globally at the same time. Regional artists working together with internationally known artists to serve a common goal of raising awareness and funds to fight the AIDS epidemic. AIDS has affected 25% of the population of South Africa and reaches out globally well beyond the traditional separation of region, age, race, or gender.

The concert took place in front of an audience of 40,000 and was broadcast free of charge to hundreds of millions around the world via TV, webcast and radio. International artists were featured joining hand in hand with leading South African artists, most notable including Beyonce, Bono, Eurythmics, Bongo Maffin, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Johnny Clegg & Sipho Mchunu, Ladysmith Black Mombaza, and Danny K, Zola. The concert is carried by MTV. To find out the next showing, go to and type 46664 in the search box.

If you think about it, if we could spread an epidemic of peace and cooperation with the transparent ease at which the AIDS virus has infiltrated all areas of humanity, the world would be a better place really quickly!

Mandela's prison number has been designed to work as a telephone number and web site in order to create a new way of donating and bringing awareness to this appeal. For more information, please visit


Question(s) related to this article:

What do you think of big concerts that raise money for a cause?,

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The link to MTV worked OK so I found a replay of the concert to listen to.  It was really worth while - a great concert.  

The rhythms, the music, the dancing, a wonderful mix of Africa and America.

One of the organizers was Bob Geldoft.  I remember Bob Gelfdorf from the big concerts that raised money in the 80's to fund the movement that overcame apartheid in South Africa and got Nelson Mandela out of prison so he could become president.

In this concert Nelson Mandela was onstage, with his wife Graca Machel (hero of the freedom movement in Mozambique) on one side and Oprah Winfry on the other side (when she wasn't on her feet dancing to the beat!)

In between songs, Bob Geldorf came out near the start and said "AIDS is a medical problem.  But the solution is political."  And later Nelson Mandela said, "AIDS is no longer just a disease, it's a human rights issue.  46664 was my prison number for my 18 years in the prison of Robbin Island.  Millions with AIDS are in danger of being reduced to mere numbers unless we act."

The mixture of music and politics was really dynamite.  Go to the MTV website and see while it's still being shown.
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This report was posted on December 2, 2003.