Television

'Mandela SOS' global television concert in February

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CAPE TOWN: Aids awareness concerts and events are the flavour of the yuletide season. The Mandela SOS Concert ,to be held on Robben's Island in South Africa on 2 February 2003, will be broadcast globally on selected television networks.

The human rights concert aims at raising awareness and funds to fight the escalating human crisis that HIV/ Aids has become. The Mandela SOS concert, presented by EPOP Productions, (Education Powers Our Planet), will be staged within the walls of the maximum security prison on Robben Island in which Mandela spent 18 years of his prison term.

Tickets will be free and distributed by competition or lottery, details of which will be announced shortly. MSN, one of the sponsors of the live event, will host the Mandela MSN website (http://www.mandelasos.com), which will feature coverage of the live event. The concert line-up will be announced in the coming weeks.

Proceeds from the event will be distributed to The Nelson Mandela Foundation, UNAIDS (the joint UN programme on HIV/ Aids) the Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Robben Island Museum.

The announcement of the launch event took place at the National Botanical Gardens in Cape Town. Mandela is being supported in this endeavour by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, media personality Oprah Winfrey, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and Diesel President and Founder Renzo Rosso.

An official release stated that Africa has been hit harder by HIV/Aids than any other region of the world with more than 17 million succumbing to the disease and another 28.1 million infected with HIV. Currently there are 11 million Aids orphans in Africa and experts caution there may be more than 25 million by the end of this decade in the absence of concrete remedial action.

Meanwhile, A Time for Heroes initiative with Richard Gere is also scheduled to take place in Mumbai on 20 December.

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