‘One Humanity’ reflects on Mandela and apartheid

 01 Sep 2017 - 17:59

‘One Humanity’ reflects on Mandela and apartheid
The screening of 'One Humanity' at the Katara Drama Theatre on Tuesday. (Picture by: Salim Matramkot)

By Raynald C Rivera / The Peninsula

One Humanity’, a poignant film on Nelson Mandela and the worldwide solidarity movement that put an end to apartheid, earned a round of applause from the audience when it was screened at Katara Drama Theatre on Tuesday night.

One of the most important feature documentaries of the decade, One Humanity, premiered on April 27, 2014 marking two decades since Mandela was voted as the first black president of South Africa in its first democratic elections. It tells the story of how the world came to focus on the ending of the apartheid regime in South Africa, and the role played in this process by two star-studded concerts that were broadcast around the world in 1988 and 1990.

The film explores how these added to the pressure on the South African government, which was weakened by a series of uprisings within the country, the erosion of western support and the end of the Cold War and how this led to the country’s first-ever democratic elections in April 1994.

“With this event tonight South Africa wishes to send a clear message of solidarity with the government and people of Qatar and to show the power of culture in conveying the message of peace. Culture is a powerful form of expression. The documentary One Humanity is a great story about the changing of the fabric of society using culture as a tool,” South African Ambassador Shirish M Soni told the audience.


Minister of Municipality and Environment H E Mohamed bin Abdullah Al Rumaihi along with Ambassadors of India, Ethiopia, Palestine, Algeria, Cuba and South Africa at the screening of ‘One Humanity’ at Katara Drama Theatre.


The screening was attended by the Minister of Municipality and Environment H E Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Rumaihi along with ambassadors of India, Ethiopia, Palestine, Algeria and Cuba who partnered with South African Embassy in organising the event. “An event like tonight allows us to reflect on those events that contributed to bringing an end to the system of apartheid. During such reflections, we cannot but express our gratitude to the international community who stood by the people and leaders of South Africa at a time when we needed them to do so and it was not popular and often very dangerous,” said Soni.

“One Humanity perfectly tells the story of a groundbreaking cultural event which altered the fabric of society and shifted the balance of power,” added the Ambassador.

The story is multi-layered and gives voice to the history of the global anti-apartheid movement, told by those who were intimately involved. It featured contributions from many leading figures including President Jacob Zuma, Frene Ginwala and Pallo Jordan, Peter Hain MP, Lord Neil Kinnock, civil rights activities Rev. Jesse Jackson, and E.S. Reddy, who set up and chaired the UN committee against Apartheid, among others.

The contributions from these key figures unfolded a story of vision, strategy, empathy and hope.  The film is also featured with performances or interviews from renowned artists such as Annie Lennox, Whoopi Goldberg, Sting, Eric Clapton, Patti LaBelle, Stetsasonic, Jonas Gwangwa, Sly & Robbie, Mahotella Queens, Caiphus Semenya, Letta Mbula and Whitney Houston to name a few.

“The film gives context to how the political landscape was happening in South Africa and how artists from around the world came together to help put pressure on the world for the fall of apartheid,” AB Moosa, co-Producer of One Humanity, told local media.

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