Video: The night Nelson Mandela danced a jig to The Corrs

MusicBy Eddie Rowley
Nelson Mandela dancing to The Corrs in 2003
Nelson Mandela dancing to The Corrs in 2003

Sharon Corr has fond memories of sharing time with one of their famous fans, the late Nelson Mandela.

“The first time we met him he was getting an honorary degree in UCG [in 2003] and it was in a hotel function room in Galway,” she recalls. “We were playing at one end when the guests were eating. The next minute, right in front of us, on the dance floor, is Nelson Mandela doing his version of an Irish jig.

“You could see the joy in his face. And you can see why that man achieved what he did. He had that spark, that thing that just made him stand out. Before we knew it he had John Hume and David Trimble up dancing too.”

The Corrs would go on to have several more encounters with the former South African president.

“Nelson Mandela genuinely loved The Corrs,” Sharon remembers. “He requested us to play at his 85th birthday in Johannesburg and everyone from Bill Clinton to Bono was there.

“Then we did the 46664 World AIDS Day Concert. At the end of it, the artists were asked to join Nelson in a private reserve north of Cape Town. So we went to that and sang there for him. Caroline had little baby Jake at that time, he was about nine months. We have a lovely picture of him sitting on Mandela’s knee.

“We're truly honoured to have shared very personal moments with him.”

For the rest of our interview with the band, check out the Sunday World Magazine this Sunday