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One of the largest grocery store chains in the world teamed up with a gospel choir to honor late anti-apartheid icon and freedom fighter Nelson Mandela in the most touching and unexpected way, reports Yahoo News.

Woolworths collaborated with the Soweto Gospel Choir to organize a flash mob in their Parkview store in Johannesburg. Posing as workers and shoppers, the singers spontaneously burst into the lyrics of “Asimbonanga [We have not seen him]. The powerful song was written as a call for Mandela’s freedom during his 27 year imprisonment.

Lyrics and video below via Yahoo News:

Asimbonanga [we have not seen him]

Asimbonang’ uMandela thina [we have not seen Mandela]

Laph’ekhona [in the place where he is]

Laph’ehleli khona [in the place where he is kept]


Asimbonang ‘umfowethu thina [we have not seen our brother]

Laph’ekhona [in the place where he is]

Laph’wafela khona [in the place where he died]

Sithi: Hey, wena [We say: hey, you]

Hey, wena nawe [Hey, you and you]

Siyofika nini la’ siyakhona [when will we arrive at our destination]

Read complete lyrics here.

The song was originally written and performed by Johnny Clegg & Savuka.

As the reality of Mandela’s death hits home for millions, the jubilant celebrations of his life have become more somber, reports CNN.

Mandela’s body is now in Pretoria, the seat of South Africa’s government, where he will lie in state for three days. On Saturday, Mandela’s body will be flown to the Mthatha airport on the Eastern Cape, and then be transported to his childhood home of Qunu for Sunday’s funeral service.

“This is a very poignant moment,” Khehla Shubane, who served time in prison with Mandela. “This is not the Mandela who was in control of things that were happening around him, inspiring people. This is a Mandela who’s in death now.”

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