Franklin was in Johannesburg, Africa for 3 performances and was scheduled to leave prior to the festive memorial service.
About to board a plane, Franklin was held back and asked if he would like to perform at the memorial. Kirk told CNN that he graciously accepted, asking the Government to pull his crew’s bags off the plane.
Performing in front of President Obama, and hundreds of world leaders and a viewing audience in the millions, Franklin dazzled the crowd running from one end of the stadium to the other ministering in song.
Franklin told CNN, “I just wanted to make Nelson Mandela proud, South Africa proud, my hometown and family proud, and share my beliefs.”
Years after he retreated from public life, his name still resonated as an emblem of his effort to transcend decades of racial division and create what South Africans called a Rainbow Nation.
Mandela was a devout Christian, who inspired leaders from around the world with his message of peace and forgiveness.