October 22, 2003
JOHANNESBURG — Former president Nelson Mandela has joined forces with musicians
and called upon the globe's citizens to join a global campaign in the fight against Aids in Africa.
Mandela launched the 46664 campaign – "Give one minute of your
life to Stop Aids" campaign in London on Tuesday.
South Africans have been called upon to dial the numbers 46664
or log on to website www.46664.com to join the petition.
It is a world-wide music-led campaign on the website and via
phone networks to raise funds and the awareness of the impact of
Aids in Africa.
The campaign will culminate in a three-hour concert to be held
at Cape Town's Green Point Stadium on November 29, in association
with MTV's Staying Alive. A 46664 CD and DVD are planned for
release early next year.
The show will be broadcast free to people around the world via
television, webcast and radio, while SABC will broadcast the entire
To date, those who have committed to joining leading African
artists include Anastacia, Baaba Maal, Beyonce, Bono, Johnny Clegg.
The Corrs, Eurythmics, Moloko, Paul Oakenfold featuring Shifty
Shell Shock and TC, Danny K, Bongo Maffin, Ladysmith Black Mambazo,
Queen and Zucchero.
Some of the campaign's sponsors include cellular giants Vodacom
and media group Tiscali on-line, while Real Concerts will promote
At a press conference held at Vodaworld in Midrand on Tuesday,
organisers were unable to connect to a satellite to London where
Mandela was speaking live, due to a technical problem.
Highlights will premiere on MTV channels globally on World Aids
Day, December 1.
The campaign calls for people to join the global petition via
local call-in numbers on which they can hear songs written by
artists, contribute directly to the fight against the disease in
Africa, and be directed to the 46664 website to hear music,
purchase exclusive 46664 tracks, download ringtones, make donations
and leave email addresses.
Mandela also called on the world's citizen's to take action by
pressurising their governments to declare a global Aids emergency.
Tiscali's spokesman Diego Massida said 46664 was the prison
number of Mandela on Robben Island in Cape Town where he was held
in captivity for 18 years.
"The former president has, until today, held back his prison
"In his prison days he was simply that – a number – 46664.
Today the millions of people affected by Aids are also increasingly
numbers and statistics."
Massida said Mandela's prison number would become the mark of
awareness building and fund raising in an attempt to free the world
of this humanitarian disaster.
Vodacom's spokesman Mthobi Tyamzashe said the Nelson Mandela
Foundation will be the ultimate beneficiary of the funds collected
from the campaign.
The first track 46664 (Long Walk to Freedom) which was written
by singers Bono, Dave Stewart and the late Joe Strummer and
performed by Bono, Youssou N'Dour, Abdel and Dave Stewart was
released on Tuesday – and in a music industry first will only be
available throughout the world via telephone lines, then
subsequently on the website.
The campaign is supported by United States president Bill
Clinton and world-renowned talkshow host Oprah Winfrey
By calling the telephone number, callers will hear messages from
celebrities including Robert de Niro, Britney Spears, Pink, David
Bowie and Beyonce.
During the International Aids Conference earlier this year,
Mandela was reported to have said that "Aids is no longer a disease
it is a human rights issue."
"A tragedy of unprecedented proportions is unfolding in Africa.
Aids today in Africa is claiming more lives than the sum total of
all wars, famines and floods and ravages of such deadly diseases as
Malaria. We must act now for the sake of the world." –Sapa