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South African Rocker Shaun Morgan of Seether Shares Memories of Nelson Mandela

Mary Ouellette,

Seether frontman Shaun Morgan is the latest rocker to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela. A huge amount of musicians and other public figures have memorialized Mandela since he passed away on Dec. 5, but as a native South African, Morgan’s statement is unique as he witnessed firsthand what it was like in his home country when Mandela was released from prison after 27 years.

Nelson Mandela passed away on Dec. 5, and that very day, bands such as Guns N’ Roses, Godsmack and Machine Head, along with musicians like Slash, Scott Ian and Nikki Sixx paid their respects. Lamb of God‘s Randy Blythe also wrote about Mandela in a heartfelt Instagram post.

Seether’s Shaun Morgan wrote about how he saw South Africa change after Mandela’s release from prison in 1990:

I can remember the moment I watched Nelson Mandela walk out of prison after his 27 years of incarceration. I was sitting in my uncle’s house, surrounded by family, and I was transfixed by a monumental moment in history that I couldn’t even fathom at the time. I was privileged to be witnessing history and the transformation of the country I had grown up in. I was watching my world change and I had no idea what was in store for me. It was 1990 and I was 12 years old – all I knew was that this was going to be f—ing epic!

Suddenly, all the “Whites Only” signs on the beaches I’d been to as a kid started disappearing! Those obnoxious “Swartes Alleen” signs started getting pulled down. No longer were the whites of South Africa being handed the prime real estate of the beaches, or indeed, the country in general. Change was in the f—ing wind!

The next time I went to school it was very different. I started 7th Grade (or Standard 5 in South Africa at the time) and I was suddenly exposed to, gasp, black kids in school with me. It was such a novelty, and so interesting and different. I had never seen black children in uniform, let alone at reputable schools. I had grown up with black friends my age on the farm in Thornville, Kwazulu-Natal, but we had come from such different backgrounds. This was a new beast, and I loved it! Here was my stuffy English government school in Pietermaritzburg that was suddenly accepting kids of all races. Black, Indian, Chinese… Everyone! F—ing weird man…

Just a year below me was a kid I loved. He was black and angry and didn’t give a f— about the rules. He was defiant and refused to tow any lines. I loved him. His name was Anton Luthuli. He was Albert Luthuli’s grandson, I believe. Look that s–t up. All I know is, I f—ing loved his anarchist outlook. He was a badass. I’m sure he still is.

Anyway, that was a little history. I’m sorry I rambled. Here’s the f—ing point…

Nelson Mandela changed my life, and changed the country I call home. He was an amazing man that achieved more than I could ever hope to. We, as South Africans, can never even begin to explain how much we loved this man. He was our father. Our grandfather. Our motherfucking “Madiba”. He was the reason any of us had hope to believe that we could break barriers and become more than life had restricted us to, based on socio-political standing. He made us all believe that we could be anything we believed in our hearts we were meant to be. He was a symbol of strength and unity, and he was the best fucking South African to ever live. I hope that I can be a tenth of the man he was. God, I’d settle for a hundredth.

Rest in peace, Madiba. Thank you for the way you changed my life. Thank you for the lessons I learned from you. Thank you. Thank you. There is a void in this world that will never be filled.

Hopefully he gets as much of a kick out of all the poser a–holes who wrote their obligatory tweets of remorse for his passing as I did. There is nothing in this world that offends me more than fake fucking condolences. I only know how to say this in Zulu to show respect for a Xhosa man… Hamba kahle, Madiba. Ngiyabonga. Lala kahle. -Shaun

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