Order & Download The Robben Island Singers Albums
For the first time ever, The Robben Island Singers’ powerful stories and inspirational music are available for digital download. Two albums are now available, the first including 22 songs from the Singers’ freedom struggle in Zulu, Shona, Spanish and English, and the other containing those songs plus an extra 21 spoken word tracks of the Singers telling stories from their struggle.
Both albums were recorded live and mixed by professionals during the Singers’ first public performance at Chicago’s Field Museum in 2002. These archival-quality recordings capture the excitement inside a packed auditorium as American audiences respond to singers from South Africa’s most notorious Apartheid prison.
100% of the proceeds from this special album will go towards The Robben Island Singers Educational Program, which brings the Singers into American classrooms and teaches students about the importance of standing up for what you believe in, the universality of struggle, and the importance of forgiveness in achieving peace. Sales are processed by Groundswell Educational Films, a 501(c)3 nonprofit and as such are fully tax-deductible.
The Robben Island Singers are three ex-political prisoners who gave up many years of their lives in the struggle for freedom. They all come from townships near the City of Durban in South Africa, joined the African National Congress in their late teens, fought for freedom and served time as political prisoners on Robben Island with Nelson Mandela.
“We came together to release a CD that tells stories about our personal experiences during our imprisonment and struggle for freedom through songs. These are the songs we sang in our childhood. Everyone sang them while we were fighting and added new layers of meaning during the years of struggle. These songs helped us feel strong and kept our spirits up during imprisonment.”
“We are not war heroes or famous in our country. We are not professional musicians. We are just ordinary soldiers in the fight for freedom and our songs are the songs of all South Africans.”
“We came to America because we want to share our stories with you, and because we joined in a collaboration with Groundswell to make a film so that our stories can be heard around the world. Our history is based on oral traditions and songs. The film we make will preserve our stories and songs for posterity.”
“Through our stories and songs, people will understand that in situations of extreme conflict the human spirit can persevere and that negotiation with the enemy, and forgiveness can, in fact, bring peace. What happened in South Africa is not a miracle. It is possible for everyone. We would also like to thank the American people for their support during our struggle. The international support played a major role in our triumph.”
– The Robben Island Singers