As Nelson Mandela dies at the age on 95, we remember his visit to LSE in April 2000 when he was welcomed with music, dance and poetry as he spoke to students, staff and alumni.
The former South African president was greeted by LSE’s Director Professor Anthony Giddens, and Lord Grabiner, QC, chairman of LSE’s Court of Governors, before giving a lecture on Africa and Its Position in the World.
African dance group Adzido performed at LSE’s Peacock Theatre as the invited audience of 1,000 arrived – with more than 600 students, staff and alumni also viewing the event via video links in another building on LSE’s Aldwych campus.
The student radio station PuLSE FM also attracted thousands of global listeners as it broadcast the event live via the Internet at http://www.pulsefm.co.uk/
The finale of the event were two surprise guests on stage. Poet Laureate Andrew Motion read a poem To Nelson Mandela: A Tribute while singer Joan Armatrading performed her song The Messenger, with the 15-piece Kingdom Chorus singers.
This is the first time Mr Mandela has spoken at LSE. His connection with the School is long-standing – LSE proposed Mr Mandela for a University of London honorary degree, which he received at Buckingham Palace in July 1996. South Africa’s Minister for Education Kader Asmal is also an LSE alumnus and honorary fellow.