Artists to perform for Madiba

SOUTH African music will be well represented when the world gathers at Madison Square Garden in New York to celebrate the life of former president Nelson Mandela.

It is a mixture of South African music - the old and new - that will be heard at the Square. Internationally acclaimed stars will also set the stage ablaze in celebration of one of the world's most respected leaders.

The inaugural Mandela Day Concert on Saturday coincides with his 91st birthday.

According to the organisers, "Mandela Day celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world and the ability to make an imprint".

They added: "On this day, we raise our hands in celebration and renewed commitment to the making of a just society. Nelson Mandela teaches us that every human being can make a positive imprint."

It is not clear if Mandela will be joining the celebrations, but a host of local artists will be performing on the world stage.

The artists who will be leaving for the Big Apple this week are Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Chris Chameleon, Freshlyground, Loyiso, Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse, Vusi Mahlasela and Thandiswa Mazwai.

The Soweto Gospel Choir left the country at the weekend.

Among big stars that will perform are Stevie Wonder, Josh Groban, Alicia Keys, Queen Latifah, Wycleaf Jean and Aretha Franklin.