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The Birmingham Nelson Mandela Tribute: Thank You from The Drum

The Drum would like to express our thanks to all the performers, musicians, singers, dancers, poets, speakers, community representatives and audiences members who joined us on Sun 15 Dec to pay their respects to the late great Nelson Mandela.

The event was a spectacular display of the values of peace, unity and cooperation between people from all walks of life which Mr Mandela represented. Birmingham’s amazing cultural diversity was displayed across multiple art forms, from Hip-Hop and Spoken Word poetry to Bhangra, African dance and Gospel singing. Hundreds of members of the public came to join us in celebrating Mr Mandela’s achievements, and we thank everyone involved for making the event truly memorable.

Thank you to all the artists, performer and speakers involved. Special thanks to Yaz Alexander for helping to coordinate the event, to Robannas Studios for donating their technical equipment, Leon Security, Audrey and Barbara from Inspiring the Next Generation, Trevor from Gatecrash Sounds, Gary Stewart from Recognize Black Culture, George Francis, Nehemiah Gabiddon, Natalie King, and everyone else who gave their time and energy to make this event happen.

“I am so proud of our communities and artists coming together in unity to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela. His unwavering commitment to social justice, equality, and reconciliation inspired people the world over, and from prisoner to president, he remained a man of the people.

Mr Mandela and the people of South Africa have always had a special place in the heart of Birmingham’s communities, and we were honored to host a befitting tribute to the life and legacy of one of the world’s greatest statesman.

Thank you to all the people that came and supported the event, all the artists that performed, all the speakers, and all of my colleagues at The Drum.”

Mukhtar Dar, Director of Arts & Marketing

A selection of photographs from the day can be found on our Facebook and Flickr pages.

In Autumn 2014 The Drum will be holding the week-long Afrovibes Festival and welcoming numerous South African artists. This event will mark the 20th anniversary of South African freedom and democracy, and will be dedicated to Nelson Mandela.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from The Drum

From everyone here at The Drum, we wish our patrons, friends and colleagues a very Merry Christmas, and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.

The Drum will be closed on the following dates for the Christmas and New Year Period:

  • Closed Christmas Eve, Tue 24 Dec
  • Closed Christmas Day, Wed 25 Dec
  • Closed Boxing Day, Thu 26 Dec
  • Closed Fri 27 Dec
  • Closed Sat 28 Dec
  • Closed Sun 29 Dec
  • Closed Mon 30 Dec
  • Closed New Years Eve, Tue 31 Dec
  • Closed New Year’s Day, Wed 1 Jan 2014
  • Closed Sat 4 Jan 2014
  • Closed Sun 5 Jan 2014

Limited Opening  Thu 2 & Fri 3 Jan, and Open as Usual Mon 6 Jan 2014

Keep an eye on our website, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter for all the latest news from The Drum.

2014 is going to be an exciting year! There’s our 20th Anniversary celebrations, the Afrovibes and Simmer Down Festival, Black History Month events, plus our usual line up of fantastic Music, Theatre, Comedy, Dance, Flims, Exhibitions, Events and Workshops. With so much going on, we hope you’ll come and join us …

Happy Holidays!

The Birmingham Nelson Mandela Tribute Sun 15 Dec, 3pm – 8pm @ The Drum

The Drum brings together artists, musicians, poets, activists and community representatives from across Birmingham’s diverse communities to pay tribute to the great Nelson Mandela, remembering the life and legacy of a man who inspired generations and shaped the history of South Africa and beyond.

The event will celebrate Mr Mandela’s life and pay respects to his struggle for social justice, equality and reconciliation. There will be discussions, tributes, archive footage, and musical performances across a range of genres including Reggae, Hip-Hop, R&B, Soul and Bhangra. We will link to South Africa to join coverage of the funeral proceedings, and speak to ex-patriots as they share their memories of the great man.

Visitors are also invited to sign our Book of Remembrance, the extracts of which will be collected and presented to the South African Embassy.

Intended artists include Jazz vocalist Saaliyah, African Dancer Sandra Golding, Reggae artists Rose Capri, Robbie Levi and Christine Benjamin, R&B singer Tish Blake, African drummer Asha B, Hip-Hop artists Priscilla Cameron and Rawality, Soul artists Skipah and Lushea, poet Mike Paul, and Bhangra master King Gurcharan Mall & Dhol Blasters, plus a host of others.

Please join us as we pay our respects to a true hero, who’s indomitable spirit touched the lives of so many and achieved so much.

In addition to their scheduled evening performance, Town Hall Gospel Choir will be making a special tribute, performing Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika, South Africa’s beautiful National Anthem, official anthem for the African National Congress during the apartheid era and a symbol of the anti-apartheid movement. This will be followed by a video tribute and an evening of music. Please note this is a separate ticketed event. For more information visit www.the-drum.org,uk or call 0121 333 2444.

Special thanks to Yaz Alexander for helping to coordinate this special event, and Robannas Studios for donating their time and equipment to make the event possible.

The Drum Salutes Nelson Mandela: Hero, Icon, Legend

The Drum wish to express our deepest sadness at the passing of Nelson Mandela on Thursday 5 December, aged 95, after several years of ill health. Mr Mandela is recognised the world over as an international figurehead for peace, his struggle becoming a cultural shorthand for bravery in the face of adversity, determination against overwhelming odds, and self-sacrifice for the greater good of a cause that shaped the history of a nation.

His tireless struggle for freedom and equality has been a beacon of inspiration for generations both within South Africa and across the world, and The Drum joins our friends and colleagues is paying respect to this great man who achieved so much for so many.

Madiba Nelson Mandela rose to become the icon of the worldwide anti-apartheid movement. In spite of the horrendous wrongs he experienced and the viciousness of their perpetrators, Madiba was able to transform South Africa. Long may his legacy, teachings and energy prevail.

Charles Small, CEO

Steadfast in the struggle for social justice, equality and reconciliation, heroic in his deeds and graceful in his manner; Nelson Mandela was an inspiration to our artists, our communities and to all of us here at The Drum. We salute his passing and celebrate his life’s achievements.

Mukhtar Dar, Director of Arts & Marketing

Born in 1918, Nelson Mandela joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1943 as a law student campaigning against apartheid. He was arrested in 1964 and sentenced to life imprisonment, serving most of his 27 year sentence on Robben Island, from where his messages of guidance, including his autobiography, were smuggled out to the anti-apartheid movement.

He was released in 1990 after years of international campaigning as South Africa began to move away from strict racial segregation, winning admiration around the world when he preached reconciliation and forgiveness after almost three decades of imprisonment.

He was elected President in 1994, his administration replacing the racist regime that had enforced apartheid segregation, serving a single term before stepping down in 1999. Mr Mandela went on to become one of the world’s most respected statesmen, assisting in peace negotiations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and other countries in Africa and elsewhere.

As the UK’s premier intercultural art centre, The Drum have always identified closely with Mr Mandela’s ethos of unity through togetherness, overcoming obstacles, and striving for identity and independence. Birmingham has long been associated with South Africa – Mr Mandela travelled to Birmingham in 1993 just prior to his historic election, visiting schools and community centres. The city has been twinned with Johannesburg, and during the apartheid years many South African exiles, including artists and musicians, based themselves in Birmingham, where their influences can still be felt today.

By way of tribute, The Drum’s doors will be opening all week between 10am and 6pm to make a Book of Remembrance available for the public to sign, extracts of which will be collected and presented to the South African Embassy, and will be hosting The Birmingham Nelson Mandela Tribute on Sun 15 Dec between 3pm & 8pm, full details of which will be announced as soon as possible.

Please join us as we pay our respects to a true hero, who’s indomitable spirit touched the lives of so many and achieved so much.

In Autumn 2014 The Drum will be holding the week-long Afrovibes Festival and welcoming numerous South African artists. This event will mark the 20th anniversary of South African freedom and democracy, and will be dedicated to Nelson Mandela.