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A FITTING FAREWELL

When beloved struggle hero, father of the nation and former president, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela passed away on Friday 5 December 2013, Government declared an unprecedented ten-day mourning period and Cape Town’s City Hall – the historic site of Mandela's first speech after his release from prison – was named the hub of all Mother City memorial events.

C.S.A. Events was honoured with its election as the City’s official event management company to conceptualise and coordinate a series of commemorative events to take place on the Grand Parade every day until Madiba’s funeral on Sunday, 15 December.

This started on the day after Madiba’s passing, when residents began to stream onto the Grand Parade to pay their last respects, laying thousands of flowers at the foot of City Hall and writing emotive messages in the official condolence book.

Thereafter, crowds were led in prayer in an interfaith ceremony, before top local entertainers, Freshly Ground, Jimmy Nevis, Vicky Sampson, Arno Carstens, GoldFish, Jimmy Dludlu, and numerous jazz bands, choirs and poets put on a free concert. CT Executive Mayor Patricia De Lille, former Springbok Chester Williams, singer Vicky Sampson and Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel addressed crowds before paying tribute to Madiba’s memory by releasing 30 white doves into the sky.

In the days that followed, The Grand Parade hosted more concerts and live screenings of a special joint sitting of Parliament, the official memorial service in Soweto, and the icon’s official private funeral final in Qunu, Eastern Cape.

Finally, after the funeral, a special concert was held, featuring, among others, GoldFish, Emo Adams and Trenton & Free Radical, who played their popular song, Mr Mandela, introducing the Madiba Jive in honour of the late icon’s signature elbows-up, side-to-side dance.