Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


Remembering Nelson Mandela and the Songs of Freedom: A Playlist

Posted on

Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

At Nelson Mandela’s memorial in Johannesburg Tuesday, leaders from around the globe gathered to express their admiration for the beloved freedom fighter and former South African president. Viewers may have noticed that many mourners were singing. Music has always played a huge part in South African culture and Mandela’s own life. In this week’s issue of EW, editor Sean Smith takes a in-depth look at the pop world’s role in the anti-apartheid movement.

A wide range of artists, from westerners like Paul Simon to African musicians like Ladysmith Black Mambazo (pictured above) and Hugh Masekela, have found inspiration in Mandela’s cause and the sounds of his country. We’ve put together a Spotify playlist of some of our favorite tracks below.

Take a listen:

To learn more about these songs and their relation to Mandela and the anti-Apartheid movement, pick up this week’s Entertainment Weekly, on stands Friday.