Dave Mistich Published

These Two Mountain Stage Performances Encapsulate Nelson Mandela's Rise to Prominence


With the passing of the anti-Aparthied revolutionary and former South African President Nelson Mandela, we wanted to connect you to how West Virginia played a small part in another famous South African’s fight for Mandela’s rise to international prominence.  

Legendary South African musician Hugh Masekela  performed for the Charleston Sternwheel Regatta crowd gathered for Mountain Stage on September 3, 1989. Masekela performed his song “Bring Him Back Home,” an anthem of the movement to free Mandela from prison.

When Masekela returned to play Mountain Stage on May 8, 1994, the battle cry had turned into a celebratory hymn. Two days after that appearance, Masekela performed the song at Mandela’s inauguration as the President of South Africa.

Masekela performs the same song on May 8, 1994 on Mountain Stage.