JERRY Dammers of The Special AKA is furious that nobody ever told him Nelson Mandela was also known as Madiba.
The ska legend believes he would’ve had a far easier time writing a top ten hit if he’d had a three syllable name to work with rather than a five syllable one.
He continued: “My single, Free Nelson Mandela, took me two years to compose because it’s absurdly hard to write a snappy chorus around that name.
“I tried getting away with Free Nelson but everyone thought the song was about the historical admiral. Somehow Free Nelson M wasn’t right either.
“If I’d known he was called Madiba I could’ve got it done in ’82 and he would have been out in 1989.”
Music historian Carolyn Ryan said: “Having a name that scans well in the chorus of a pop song is very helpful if you’re a victim of government injustice.
“It explains why, despite Ukrainian protests being in the news, not one person in 100 can name wrongly imprisoned former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.”
Former Genesis frontman Peter Gabriel said: “When I started writing my hit song Biko, I didn’t even know who Steve Biko was.
“I just heard the name and thought it sounded kind of catchy.”