- Former President Nelson Mandela announced Friday
he will host a concert featuring some of the world's leading entertainers to
raise funds for
U2 star Bono, Macy
Gray and Shaggy had already agreed to perform at the show on February 2, to be
Michael Jackson, Sting, Bruce Springstein, Bob Dylan, Elton John and Janet Jackson have also been approached to play at the event - titled "Mandela SOS" - for an audience of 3 000 invited guests.
Mandela, 84, one of
the world's most revered figures, emerged from prison to become
"The concert will
focus on the growing impact that Aids has on human life, not only in
"We must never allow those who are infected and affected by Aids to become statistics."
Plans for the concert
were announced at a banquet staged in a marquee in a botanical garden on the
Guests included talk show host Oprah Winfrey, Nobel Peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Renzo Rosso, president of the Diesel clothing company and one of the events main sponsors.
"I am certain we will overcome this epidemic," said Tutu, who was also a leading anti-apartheid activist. We overcame apartheid, we will overcome Aids."
An estimated 4.7 million South Africans - one in nine - are HIV positive, more than in any other country in the world.
Winfrey, who publishes
a version of her magazine O in
"It is my goal and the goal of the Oprah Winfrey show to take the story of Aids and this pandemic back to the world and use my show to overcome and heal," she said.
Businessman Richard Branson and model Naomi Campbell added their support to the initiative via satellite messages."Aids has currently eliminated 25 million lives and is spreading fast," said Branson. "Something must be done to stop this scourge." - Sapa-AP