South Africans in London protest
South Africans in London. Photo: Leah van Zyl

South Africans abroad gathered for a peaceful protest in London on Sunday, Mandela Day 2021, showing their solidarity with their loved ones back home. Together they sung the national anthem opposite the UK Prime Minister’s residence at 10 Downing Street (watch below), and belted out Shosholoza. The gathering also included a picnic in Hyde Park and passionate addresses from various South Africans who now live in the UK… but whose hearts belong forever to SA. Below is a selection of videos and photos that capture the special day…

Photo: Leah van Zyl

Photographer Leah van Zyl said: “(Yesterday) we stood in solidarity with our fellow South Africans, who have just gone through a devastating, terrifying wave of destruction and unrest.  We watched, unable to help, unable to do anything to stop it.  We have plenty to eat, while our loved ones line up in queues around the block to buy bread.  Shops and businesses have been ransacked, businesses destroyed, lives devastated.  Our families are standing guard in the night, desperately trying to protect their homes, their families, and everything they have worked for.

“Although we couldn’t be there to stand with you in person, today we stood with you in London.  Last week,  Whatsapp groups were formed, plans were made, re-made, re-shuffled, and re-shuffled again.  We planned and organised while watching all of your videos and voice notes detailing your plight.  We called our families, we made facebook groups.  We started fund raising, we invited friends and loved ones to get involved and donate.

All photos in this section by LEAH VAN ZYL

“Huge thanks and respect to Hayley Reichert and her team for all of your hard work in planning this day.  We sang the national anthem (twice!) we spoke about our hopes and fears for the country. We held a minute of silence, keeping our much loved home and families in our thoughts.

“Today we felt like we could help, we felt connected to each other and to our beautiful, much loved country.”

See more photos and read Leah’s blog here. If you would like to order any of Leah’s amazing photos, click here.

South Africans sing the National Anthem in London on Mandela Day

Jessica Feliciano uploaded a video of the anthem – Nkosi Sikelel’iafrika – which has gone viral. She said: “We may be far…but united we shall forever stand 🇿🇦❤💙💛💚🤍 #prayforsa 🙏”

Here seen singing the South African national anthem across Hyde Park – video by Sindiso Joya who flew in especially from Scotland for the day:

Well known SA activist in London, Hayley Reichert said it was a day in which “London Saffas were standing together against the destruction on our homeland”.

Nana Mthembu reassured everyone that all South Africans belong in SA:

South Africans sing Shosholoza on Mandela Day in London:

South Africans abroad contribute to help rebuild SA

South Africans abroad are rallying together, donating to charities in SA, with more announcements imminent. In the meantime, if you’d like to help in the short-term to get people back on their feet again, please donate to Gift of the Givers. If you’d like to help in the long-term (or know a corporation who would like to), please contact

More Photos of SA Expats in London, standing in solidarity with South Africans back home:

Photos by Genasa Reddy-Mitchell:

Photo by Emily-Jane Lamb:

Photo by Rowan Flynn:

South Africans in London Sing SA Anthem at Peaceful Protest
South Africans in London Gathered for a Peaceful Protest. Photo: Rowan Flynn

Photos supplied by Hayley Reichert:

Well known SA activist in London Hayley Reichert with Sindiso Joya who flew in from Scotland for the event.
The Hyde Park picnic for South Africans was organised by Bulelwa

Jackie Kaiser and friends gathered in Bristol:

THANK YOU to all the South Africans abroad. You have been AMAZING. Dr Imtiaz Sooliman says: “South Africans from UK, Ireland, Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, Dubai have all called, already starting campaigns to support us…” Thank you. Making SA Proud!