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Watch Woolworths get it right with touching Nelson Mandela flashmob tribute

Woolworths flashmob

Woolworths has come through with a truly touching tribute to Nelson Mandela. It organised with the Soweto Gospel Choir to do a flash mob, with singers posing as shoppers and store workers at one of its retail outlets.

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The world renowned choir breaks into an “impromtu” rendition of Asimbonanga which in English means “We have not seen him”. Here are the lyrics (with the handy English translations):

Asimbonanga [we have not seen him]
Asimbonang’ uMandela thina [we have not seen Mandela]
Laph’ekhona [in the place where he is]
Laph’ehleli khona [in the place where he is kept]

Asimbonanga
Asimbonang ‘umfowethu thina [we have not seen our brother]
Laph’ekhona [in the place where he is]
Laph’wafela khona [in the place where he died]
Sithi: Hey, wena [We say: hey, you]
Hey, wena nawe [Hey, you and you]
Siyofika nini la’ siyakhona [when will we arrive at our destination]

The song was written during Mandela’s incarceration and made famous by Johnny Clegg, and called for the release of Nelson Mandela. Apparently the flash mob was a last minute replacement for something else the retailer had planned.

“The plan was to support our 100 Smiles Christmas campaign, with a performance of the Soweto Gospel Choir’s rendition of James’ Brown’s I feel Good,” the company says in an official press release. “The Thursday night rehearsal went well but on Friday, the song could not resonate with any of us. Together with the choir, we decided to transform the performance into a Madiba tribute”.

Watch the faces of the other shoppers. Nice move Woolworths… really well done.

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