South African music legend Cedric Samson has embarked on a new project, once again dedicated to South Africa’s former president Nelson Mandela. Aptly called Light in People’s Eyes, this new song is meant to be a present for Mandela on his 95th birthday in July 18 – on behalf of the rest of the world. Literally that is.
“I want to do something special for our former President, like I did when he turned 90,” Samson says from his studio in Cape Town, referring to his live performance of Father of Our Nation during Mandela’s birthday celebrations five years ago.
In 1998 this track landed Samson (who as a director/composer/musician/etc has worked with some of the world’s biggest stars including Alicia Keys, George Benson and Miriam Makeba) a Grammy nomination.
“It was a spectacular evening. Madiba was sitting on stage, and I was sitting behind the drums directing the band and singers. Our eyes met. It was one of the greatest evenings of my life,” Samson says.
The idea behind Light in People’s Eyes is to involve the entire world. “I don’t want this to be a solo operation. Nelson Mandela is after all the light in the eyes of people across the globe. Millions would want to give him something for his upcoming birthday,” he explains.
“Through our crowd funding channel, everyone who wants to be part of Light in People’s Eyes can to be part of it,” Samson explains. “Whether you live in Cape Town, Sydney, New York or Shanghai – everyone can have their name attached to a birthday present for our beloved Mandela. For as little as R135, you can be part of it.” Funders will be given perks, Samson stresses. “We will make sure their contribution will not go unnoticed. Please have a look at our IndieGoGo channel for more information”.
In his mission, Samson has partnered with The Opulent Charity – the brainchild of entrepreneur Christopher Haigh. “I like working with start-up entrepreneurs who are driven to make a difference in this world,” Samson explains. “The Opulent Charity is the ‘Do Good’ arm of The Opulent Golfer Magazine, an online travel and leisure platform. They donate 10% of their revenue to their Charity Fund, which in turn supports three small and reputable NGOs in Cape Town. They genuinely combine business and doing good. It blew me away.”
Haigh, originally from Port-Elizabeth: “It is a true pleasure and honour to work on such an uplifting project that will celebrate the wonder of Nelson Mandela, one of the Greatest Leaders of modern times. Being an international platform, we believe The Opulent Charity can do its fair bit in taking this campaign across the globe. Cedric’s energy and drive is incredibly uplifting. His passion for this project is truly inspirational. We are thrilled to be part of this. Besides doing what we do – running a magazine – we like to give back to society.”
As part of the global aspect of the project, Samson has been in contact with various South African and international stars. “They all would love to offer their vocal talents to the project,” he explains, noting that the production’s proceeds will be donated to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. “It makes for a double present: a song for our Former Leader and financial support for his organisation, which plays such a crucial role in nurturing South Africa’s generations of Future Leaders.”
• Crowd funding channel