• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Singer set to share memories of Mandela's visit to Glasgow

IT is a moment which those who were there will remember forever.

MEMORABLE: The singer was joined on stage by Nelson Mandela in 1993.
MEMORABLE: The singer was joined on stage by Nelson Mandela in 1993.

On October 9, 1993, huge crowds filled a rain-soaked George Square to welcome Nelson Mandela with a special concert to celebrate his release from prison three years earlier.

One of the famous images of that historic day in Glasgow was of Mandela dancing on stage with South African singer Marah Louw. Tonight, 21 years on, Ms Louw returns to the city to perform and share her memories at the Glasgow Celebrates Mandela evening, which is part of the Aye Write! festival.

She will be joined by Brian Filling, chairman of the Scottish Anti-Apartheid Movement and now Honorary Consul for South Africa, who was instrumental in bringing Mandela to Glasgow.

Ms Louw said: "1993 was a turning point in my life and career as an artist. The invitation to come to Glasgow and perform in front of thousands of Glasgow people was a huge honour.

"The crowds were happy and excited at seeing Mandela for the first time and to be bestowing the Freedom of the City on him, and for me to be part of that historic moment is priceless.

"People standing in the rain, cheering, was magical. I was on the same stage with this great man. I still feel blessed."

In 1981, when some were still unsure about how to view Mandela, Glasgow awarded him the Freedom of the City and other cities followed suit. In 1986, Glasgow again brought attention to the jailed freedom fighter by changing the name of St George's Place in the city centre to Nelson Mandela Place.

Mr Filling campaigned for Mandela's release and became friends with Madiba. He was invited to Mandela's inaugur-ation as South Africa's first black president the following year.

Tonight Mr Filling will chair the Mandela event at the Mitchell Library and share some of his memories with the audience.

He said: "Nelson Mandela was well aware of the support he had in Glasgow before arriving in 1993 and he went on to have a special relationship with the city."

Mr Filling invited Ms Louw to perform at the 1993 concert. He said: "She has a lot of charisma on stage, so she had captured the audience, then when she was in the middle of a song, she got Mandela to dance and that was the highlight for a lot of people and that's what they remember."

Additional Images: 
Contextual targeting label: 
Arts and Entertainment

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

224050