Free Mandela

T-shirt produced for the Wembley Stadium concert held on 16 April 1990 to celebrate the release of Nelson Mandela. Mandela thanked the people of Britain and the world for campaigning for his release. The back of the T-shirt lists the lead artists who performed at the concert.

Two months after his release, Nelson Mandela attended a second Wembley Stadium concert held on 16 April 1990. The concert was attended by a capacity audience of 76,000 people and broadcast around the world. Mandela thanked the hundreds of thousands of people who had campaigned for his freedom and called for the continued isolation of South Africa until it had been transformed into a non-racial democracy.

Poster celebrating Nelson Mandela’s release and calling for the release of all other South African political prisoners. Mandela visited Britain in April 1990 and spoke at a concert held in Wembley Stadium, London.

Nelson Mandela at the Wembley concert held on 16 April 1990.

Handwritten letter from Nelson Mandela ‘to the British public’ thanking them for their ‘overwhelming generosity’. The letter was written on the day Mandela attended the 16 April 1990 Wembley concert held to celebrate his release from prison on 11 February.


At the concert held in his honour in Wembley Stadium on 16 April 1990, Nelson Mandela asked the people of Britain and the world to maintain sanctions against South Africa until a democratic constitution was in place. He also appealed for people to join the Anti-Apartheid Movement. This AAM membership leaflet reproduced parts of his speech.

Card advertising a sculpture made to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s release from prison.

Nelson Mandela visited the family of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence on his visit to London in May 1993. Stephen was stabbed to death by a white racist gang when he was waiting at a bus stop in Eltham, south-east London, on 22 April.