Madiba, Nelson Mandela, left the physical body on Dec. 5, 2013, and in so doing began a process of expanding his soul force through the ancestral realm, and into the hearts, and psyches of the world. The transition of this spiritual giant continues to be observed in South Africa through traditional art, dance, music, drumming, through solemn processions and moments of silence, through a combination of tribal ritual and state honoring. At a concert, musicians, poets, children, and the grateful people of South Africa processed their own feelings and blessed Madiba, calling forth a collective courage for the next phase of life. The musicians from South Africa and around the world sang in a way that feels like singing to save their lives.
As long as Madiba was alive, there was a feeling of safety. The memory of apartheid’s brutal past is not yet far from the consciousness of many, however. The music is an incantation, a calling forth from the invisible of the collective power of the revolution. There is nothing frivolous about any of the performances or observances. It is all done with great deliberateness. It reminds us that ART is a path. ART leads us to the realm of the ancestors, to the Kingdom of G-d, to the river that sustains all life.
One young singer from a group named ‘Time for Africa’ sang: “Remember! There was a time when no one could speak. There was a time when only the brave would speak. We are one, all people are one, White, Black, Brown, we are one.” Another woman shared that she is feeling hurt by Madiba’s passing. She remembers being jailed with two young children at home because she did not have her “paper” one day.
I heard an interview with Zeleni Mkiva, who served as Madiba’s “Praise Singer”, from the time he left prison until his transition. This young man blends fierce tribal dialect with English evocations of Spirit. Dressed in tribal attire, he evoked the ancestors and cleared the energetic way for Nelson Mandela before he spoke. He accompanied Madiba to his inauguration, and many official gatherings. Madiba mentored him from a young age, as he did so many other artists.
Bono shared that Madiba told him, “If you don’t use your gifts to change the world I will haunt you.” It was funny, but he wasn’t kidding. Madiba knew that artists have the power to save the revolution. Art can be a path that connects us to the ancestral realm, to the deepest connection to our Source where we access the power to become healers of the world and transformers of consciousness.
If you are interested in following any of the events in South Africa, you may tune in online to eNCA Live. None of this has been on American media. We have seen plenty of gossip and lots of filler “news”. But this coverage is life changing. I would like to encourage you to wonder why we cannot access it on American TV. Why are we being force fed a diet of junk food, when there is a truly transformational process for world peace and unity happening in real time?
This Sunday, we will have an amazing combination of dance, music and fine art, with a depth teaching on the topic of “Creating a container for the birth of consciousness.” Please join us for our holiday gathering at 11 am at Raw Space Gallery 2031 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd, Harlem, NY.
“Let there be justice for all! Let there be peace for all. Let freedom ring.”
– Nelson Mandela
Yes Madiba. We hear your voice.
We sing your song.
Our lives depend on it.