Mandela Day! We Are the World

2015-07-17 15:12

From womb to tomb Nelson Mandela in most instances is the same with Michael Jackson. This is a man whom Mandela called "a giant and a legend".

On the same vein, Michael Jackson was proud to call Nelson Mandela “my friend”.

Both Nelson Mandela and Michael Jackson were soul mates. They both recognized, appreciated and respected each other as global catalysts.

They knew their significance in society and for that became soul mates.

I have discovered profound similarities between Nelson Mandela and Michael Jackson after having listened to the most intimate tapes of Michael Jackson in private conversations.

For a period of 2 years (from 2000 to 2001), Michael Jackson sat down with his close friend and spiritual guide, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, to record what turned out to be the most revealing conversations of his life.

The tapes run up to 30 hours and cover a whole range of personal issues and when brought together reveal the man behind the mask. Listening to Michael Jackson as he pour his heart to his Rabbi one can only feel sorry for him; the fact that out there in public he has turned out to such an abnormal beast but from the heart he is a real human genuine person. It just shows that there is nothing that corrupts so fast as fame.

And yet Michael Jackson remains the biggest supreme world leader of great stature. Leadership is purely about influence and there has so far in this era not a person who has influenced the world as Michael Jackson.

It is like as Berry Gordy the legendary founder of Motown Records said that the term King of Pop is not big enough for Michael Jackson.

Berry Gordy should know what he is talking about. As an irresistible force of social and cultural change, Berry Gordy’s legendary Motown made its mark not just on the music industry, but society at large. He is the person who brought to light Diana Ross & the Supremes, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, the Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5, the Marvelettes, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Lionel Richie & the Commodores, Teena Marie, their music communicated and brought together a racially divided country and segregated society, around the world, touching all people of all ages and races.

The Mandela and Jackson Connection

The connection between Nelson Mandela and Michael Jackson is very striking and deeply instructive.

The similarities between Mandela and Michael Jackson is very striking and instructive

Michael Jackson gave millions of dollars to charities that sought to eradicate poverty, diseases and hunger in Africa. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Michael Jackson holds the record for most charities sponsored by a pop star.

Michael Jackson was brilliant, beloved and enormously talented. He was ironically the title of his music albums; He was a thriller, he was Bad, he was Off the Wall, Dangerous to himself, he was electrifying. And sadly he was neither Black or White.

Michael Jackson wrote a song called Black or White and sang it to the world that it does not matter whether humans were Black or White.

Nelson Mandela is the first person in Africa to have successfully demonstrated that it does not matter whether you are Black or White. He captivated the world by his moral authority in calming down raw racial emotions and seeking to create a new world of unity and harmony in diversity.  That is what he stood for, preached and acted on.

The Power of Humble Beginnings

Both Nelson Mandela and Michael Jackson were raised from childhood by their fathers to become great, before they could barely walk straight and steady.

On the 18th July 1918, Nelson Mandela came into this earth during the darkest period of his family's sad history. His father Gadla Mandela had his chieftainship in Mvezo destroyed by the Whites.

Nelson Mandela’s father was able to shake off the depression and picked himself up and the family. He  found refuge with the nearest village of Qunu. Because of his experience in royal affairs he eventually became a principal counsellor of the AbaThembu King  Jongitaba. Qunu is the place where Gadla Mandela was blessed with a wonderful boy: Nelson Mandela.

Because Gadla Mandela took initiatives and advance plans that met with general approval some authors like Anthony Samson writes that the role that was played by Nelson Mandela’s father was similar to that of a prime minister in the affairs of the AbaThembu people.

Anthony Samson was one of the pioneer editors of Drum magazine when it started in 1953 – he was the personal friend of Nelson Mandela and was there at the Rivonia trial when Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment to Robben Island. He wrote the authorized biography of Nelson Mandela.

Gadla Mandela’s was a man of great counsel in the times when the AbaThembu authority and power was devastated by factional battles and was in the state of implosion. This is described by Drusilla Siziwe Yekela, in her University of Cape Town Doctor of Philosophy degree thesis: Unity and division: Aspects of the history of Abathembu Chieftainship.

Gadla raised his infant boy to become a leader. When he realised he was dying he requested the audience of the king to his death bed and committed the 12 year old Nelson Mandela to the king. These are his last words.

"Your honour I leave my son to you to educate. I can see he is progressing and aims high. Teach him and he will respect you."

The King assured Mandela's father: "I will take Rolihlahla and educate him."

Nelson Mandela has this to say about his father:  As a boy we were talking a lot together and it fundamentally shaped me a lot. It was all about matters of leadership and how better can one lead the people.

We carry the psychological baggage of where we come from and we must not apologize to no one for that

Soon after his father’s funeral, Nelson Mandela was taken by his mother on a long journey from Qunu to the royal house called "Great Place" of Mqhekezweni where the King Jongitaba ruled. From there Nelson Mandela grew up to full teen years soaking all aspects of leadership on a daily basis.

Compare and contrast that with Michael Jackson. At the age of 5, Michael Jackson's father Joseph used to whip him hard with belts and sticks whenever he missed a step during music rehearsals. The training and upbringing was hard.

Because of this many people regard Joseph Jackson as a mean father – in reference to the hardened manner in which he raised Michael Jackson.

But Michael Jackson's father says: I'm glad I was harsh on Michael; I made sure he respected older people and that he doesn’t get into drugs or gangs. And now look what I came out with! I came out with a wonderful boy that everybody loves all over the world.

Michael Jackson received harsh discipline from his father. His father says: "There's nothing wrong with punishment as long as you know how to punish."

In the hermeneutical teachings of Paul Ricoeur, no person speaks from nowhere. We carry the subconscious baggage of the various psycho-social and cultural persuasions that attended our birth or environ we grew from; all these go a long way to become the sum total of our perception and appreciation of reality.

The simple humble living along the foothills of Qunu and the royal kingship environs shaped Nelson Mandela in a way that Michael Jackson was shaped by the musical family he was born into.

It is what James Allen writes in his book, The Byways of Blessedness:

“Most beginnings are small, and appear trivial and insignificant, but in reality they are the most important things in life. A beginning is a cause, and as such it must be followed by an effect, or a train of effects and the effect will always be of the same nature as the cause. The nature of an initial impulse will always determine the body of its results. A beginning also presupposes an ending, a consummation, achievement, or goal. A gate leads to a path, and the path leads to some particular destination; so a beginning leads to results, and results lead to a completion”.

Greatness in Compassion

Michael Jackson in consultation with Lionel Ritchie wrote We are the World song. The song sold more than 7 million records worldwide, generating more than $ 60 million which was used to assist Africa and Africans affected by the famine and other critical issues of survival such as health.

We are the World became and remains the people's anthem throughout the years. And recently during the earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010 where more than 230 0000 people died the song was adapted, remade and remixed as We are the World for Haiti and it included Michael Jackson's sister Janet Jackson at the epicentre of the song.

“In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to hope. In a world filled with anger, we must still dare to comfort. In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to dream. And in a world filled with distrust, we must still dare to believe. We have to heal our wounded world. The chaos, despair, and senseless destruction we see today are a result of the alienation that people feel from each other and their environment.”    ? Michael Jackson

Nelson Mandela was born in the month of July. That has meaning if you know history. The month of July is named after Julius Caesar, the great absolute Master of Rome. Rome that time was an empire that ruled the entire known world.

Michael Jackson was born in August, that too has significance; the month that follows after the month of July in our calendar. The month of August is name yet again after another mighty Roman statesman: Augustus Caesar, the grand nephew of Julius Caesar. He is a man who inherited the throne of the world after Julius Caesar.

Both Nelson Mandela and Michael Jackson were masters. They created or rather recreated a universe of meaning. They rose above their race, restrictions and limitations to become universal masterpieces of influence drawing the world to them. They created paradigms and inspired paradigm changes. Today it does not matter whether you are Black or White in Nelson Mandela or Michael Jackson the people of the world see themselves, from Cyprus to China, and from Japan to Africa, and the Americas to Europe.

Friendship and Soul Purpose

When Michael Jackson tragically died in 2009 Nelson Mandela wrote a letter that became the center at the memorial service of Michael Jackson. Here is the letter:

“Dear Jackson family,

It is with great sadness that we learnt of the untimely death of Michael Jackson. Michael became close to use after he started visiting and performing in South Africa regularly.

We became fond of him and he became a close member of our family. We had great admiration for his talent and that he was able to triumph over tragedy on some many occasions in his life.

Michael was a giant and a legend in the music industry and we mourn with the millions of fans worldwide. We also mourn with his family and his friends over the loss of a dear friend. He will be missed and memories cherished of him for a long time.

Be strong,

Nelson Mandela

The salient point to note is that; Nelson Mandela and Michael Jackson shared a mutual devotion to humanity and humanitarian causes. Michael Jackson brought out African music from the ghettoes of America into the global stage beyond race and cultural barriers. Nelson Mandela took ancient pieces of African wisdom of humanity taught to him at a humble rural African village and enlarged upon them and become the granddaddy of world leadership. What they learned and were taught in their humble childhood became a force of the world.

Both were friends. This was a friendship that was not based on mutual emotional support, situational affections and personal gains but a friendship of a different nature - that kind of friendship of world famous personality who respected and valued each other in their own ways.

Their friendship and connection was based on awareness as powerful icons that shape human societies. This kind of friendship is called soul purpose. We are friends because we realize that both of us have broken out of the glum and the darkness in the world - the day to day gridlock and therefore we are discovering and fulfilling personal missions.

Sometimes people lose this to authentic selves, and therefore have morphed into people who behave selfishly, fearfully and hurtfully.

Reinventing Pain

Michael Jackson in his album Earth Song sang about the pain and suffering in this world. You exert pain in other people because you yourself are in pain. You are able to hurt others because your are hurt inside and your outwardly actions shows what is inside of you. That is the message of Earth Song.

Michael Jackson explained: "I remember writing 'Earth Song' when I was in Austria, in a hotel. And I was feeling so much pain and so much suffering of the plight of the Planet Earth.

And for me, this is Earth's Song, because I think nature is trying so hard to compensate for man's mismanagement of the Earth. And with the ecological unbalance going on, and a lot of the problems in the environment, I think earth feels the pain, and she has wounds, and it's about some of the joys of the planet as well. But this is my chance to pretty much let people hear the voice of the planet. And this is 'Earth Song.' And that's what inspired it. And it just suddenly dropped into my lap when I was on tour in Austria."

Earth song was the biggest hit in Europe and sold 3 million worldwide.

You can see the deeper soul mate connection between Mandela and Michael Jackson here.


No study of Michael Jackson or Nelson Mandela is complete without referring to the vultures which circled them as they lay sickly in bed. It was such a sorry side to see people in stampede seeking to get their own pound of flesh before and immediately after both men died. There was such a sickly orchestra of aristocratic greed hijacking what was left; and has continued to conduct the performance ever since, the orchestra of vultures, hungry for lewd money. The ideologies of greed raised their banners and their songs reached a crescendo. It was and still is a theatre of Avarice!

Vultures are scavengers; the undertakers of nature in the wild. They are uninvited guests to every meal convoked by death in the forests. Any animal that becomes sick and unable to walk and about to die becomes food for vultures within seconds of that transition. Sometimes, vultures are known to sense when an animal is on its way to death. Some vultures are known to hasten this process. Some others wait for the animal to die before feasting.

Pioneers of Destiny

We can say the same things about Nelson Mandela what Berry Gordy the legendary founder of Motown Records said about Michael Jackson:

“Michael Jackson was not an artist who comes along once in a decade, a generation or a lifetime. He was a personality which comes along only once, period. I had a good fortune of meeting him when he was only 9 years old. Little Michael's performance was way beyond his years. This little kid had an incredible knowingness about him. He sang with such feeling and inspiration.

Michael had a quality that I couldn’t completely understand but we all knew he was special. He was driven by his hunger to learn to constantly top himself to be the best. He was the consummate student. He studied the greats and became greater. He raised the bar and then broke the bar. His talent and creativity thrust him into another stratosphere.

Michael loved creating what have never been done before. He loved everything and everybody especially his fans. I must say though that he did have two personalities. Off stage he was shy, soft spoken and childlike, but when he took the stage in front of his screaming fans he turned into another person. A master, a take no prisoner show man. It was like kill or be killed. I mean Michael was awesome, totally in charge. In fact the more I think about Michael Jackson, the more I think The King of Pop title is not big enough for him”.

Advice from Michael Jackson during the Nelson Mandela Day

So if you are still not sure what to do during this Nelson Mandela Day, Michael Jackson his friend and soul mate is giving you a simple but profound advice: Heal the World, and make it a better place for you and me!

Michael Jackson - Heal the world - Live in Munich. Watch Video---

News24 Voices Terms & Conditions.


AB praises selfless skipper

2010-11-21 18:15

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.