Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spiritual motherland

I love South African music. I remember that even before what I knew what harmonizing was, I was just drawn at a child to the music of South Africa. The fight againts apartheid was well on the way. The fights in Soweto daily as blacks fought for the right to be human.

I didn't realise just how much I understood as a child. It seemed I was brought up in a period of struggle. But isnt every period a struggle? Even in our lives, as we win one battle, dont we unwittingly move on to the next?

Back to the music of South Africa. I love the call and response, the harmony, the simple yet profound arrangements. I dont need to understand Xhosa to understand the music. The Xhosa click fascinates me. I somehow identify with South Africa more than I do with Western Africa, and Ghana, where my ancestors are likely to have come from.

I have been listening to the same song "INkanyeze Nezzazi" by Lady Smith Black Mambazo on repeat. You know how I am with the repeat button. I am now on "Uzizikelele Africa"(God Bless Africa- the South African National Anthem).

I have never listened to any country's anthem for pleasure- not even mine. But this song, because I heard it as the backdrop for scenes and of black people fighting for the freedom of Nelson Mandela, it just moves me.

Aluta Continua.


Azikiwe said...

I know exactly what you mean ! I find African tunes 'cause quite a murmur in my blood. Lady Smith Mombaza is a favourite of mine as well as a few instrumentals within the genre. You listen to them & you can't help but associate them with the apartheid struggle...Mandela to me was just freed yesterday !

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