Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe Memorializes Nelson Mandela
Yesterday (Dec. 5), Nelson Mandela passed away at age 95. The news swept through the world in a matter of minutes, eliciting a large amount of tributes and discussion on the life of South Africa’s human-rights leader and former president. Lamb of God vocalist Randy Blythe is one of many musicians that paid his respects to Mandela, but in typical Blythe fashion, the singer penned a detailed and highly emotional piece.
Bands such as Guns N’ Roses, Godsmack and Machine Head, along with musicians like Slash, Tom Morello and Nikki Sixx memorialized Mandela via Twitter, which we put together in a Rockers React post. However, Blythe, who spent time in prison for charges he was later acquitted of, went for an approach that exceeds 140 characters.
Randy Blythe posted the following on his personal Instagram account:
Today Nelson Mandela died, and many people will take to social media to say RIP Mandela & post a picture of the great man, free & smiling after 27 years in prison for allegedly conspiring to commit sabotage and conspiracy against the South African apartheid government in 1962- he was one of the finest humans of our time. I grew up hearing of this man imprisoned in South Africa, & I like millions world wide, was overjoyed when he finally was released in 1990. He came out of prison and within four years was South Africa’s first black president, having spearheaded the political movement that peacefully ended the racist apartheid government. He did great things for his people after he was free, there is no doubt. But this picture is a far more telling testament to what kind of man Mandela was than any modern photo. Here he is defiantly raising his fists with other men on the way to prison- he had JUST been given a life sentence. Mandela knew what would happen with his trial, & instead of focusing all his energy on keeping himself free, he disrupted the trial by wearing traditional garb, refused to call any witnesses to his defense & turned the trial into an arena for political speech to show the world what was happening in South Africa. He sacrificed his own freedom so that his people could one day be equals in their own native country, because he knew something had to change, & if he had to go to prison for LIFE to speed that change, so be it. He was a living example of DOING THE RIGHT THING, NO MATTER WHAT THE COST. THAT is a REAL MAN. In fact, one of his most famous quotes about prison was this: “If I had my time over, I would do the same again. So would any man who dares call himself a man.” So rest in peace, Nelson Mandela. I can only hope others will take a page from your book. Your 27 years of hard time are a blessing to us all.
Randy Blythe’s upcoming memoir ‘Dark Days: My Tribulations and Trials,’ which documents his controversial Czech manslaughter charges, is currently set for a June 24, 2014 release.