Nelson Mandela was, quite famously, a fan of European classical music. His two favorite composers were George Frideric Handel and Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky, but he grew up exposed to the country’s rich tradition of vocal groups forging a unique form of sacred rhythm music.
That changed while the former South African president and longtime democratic activist was imprisoned by the pro-apartheid government from 1962 to 1990. He wasn’t allowed access to music.
Artists, however, used Mandela's jailing to fuel global protest songs, and during his years in captivity Mandela’s messages were delivered on the wings of rhythm and melody.