Mandela Provides Strength in AIDS Fight

Published: 2005-03-21
Former South African President, Nelson Mandela, told a crowd of 20,000 people in George, South Africa, this past Saturday that after the AIDS pandemic has infected more than 25 million people in Africa alone, the isolation of those that have contracted the disease (especially women) has to stop. Mandela says, the disease "carries the face of women" because in Africa many women have contracted AIDS through infection from careless sexual partners and also through being sent to care for AIDS patients in less than perfect conditions.

Mandela originally sponsored his first AIDS conference in 1993 in Cape Town, South Africa and now his 46664 concerts (his prison badge number from Robben Island) have helped to raise awareness and like Saturday's concert raise over $1.5 million dollars for the fight against AIDS. Musician, Annie Lennox, spoke on the horror that many women face in Africa, "In Africa more people are wiped out by AIDS every year than in the entire Asian Tsunami disaster. In this society women are powerless and vulnerable to the whims of men who refuse to practice safe sex and use condoms." Actor/Musician, Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith were also on hand with encouragement, "I want you to use your power to stay alive," screamed Jada Pinkett Smith to the women in the audience.

Mandela, now 86 years old, was asked why he doesn't stop fighting in his old age, "I cannot rest easily while our beloved continent is ravaged by a deadly epidemic."

For more information on the concerts, visit:

Writer: Soul Shine Staff



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