James Brown was in jail. But that didn’t stop the queue from coiling around the block to see the James Brown All Stars at the Jazz Café in Camden Town, London. Lawson Naidoo was happy with that: not because the "Godfather of Soul" was in the tjoekie but because more punters meant more money to fight apartheid.

It was circa 1990 and one of the venue’s owners, Jon Dabner, supported the freedom struggle by donating the door takings from certain gigs. Naidoo, who worked for the ANC mission in London from 1987 to 1992, was instrumental in establishing the arrangement...

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