My last post was quite ambiguous (although I hope everyone got that it was about the recent death of Mandela). Just to explain, I decided to write a small post.
The first section, in quotes, was the iconic song by Johnny Clegg & Savuka called “Asimbonanga (Mandela)”. I have written the translation of the chorus and title in the quote.
I grew up listening to this song and other songs from the band’s two albums, “Third World Child” and “African Shadow Man”. In fact, I still listen to them daily. They, and many other songs, are my solace because I can listen to them and remember. Which is one of the many reasons why I love music so, because I associate each song that I listen to with a particular period of my life (although many are timeless!)
It was through Asimbonanga that I learnt about my, albeit very distant, connections with South Africa. During the middle section of the song, Clegg reads names of those who died in the anti apartheid struggle. Due to my unforgiving curiosity, I had to ask who these people were.
Steve Biko. The name still stands out to me when I played the song continually on Thursday and Friday.
My godmother knew him, he was her classmate. I knew it wasn’t much of a connection, but that little link and my love for the band’s music made me feel closer to South Africa. She left the country as soon as possible after facing discrimination during the regime, but the poisoned tentacles of Apartheid still reached her in the supposed sanctuary of England. Her brother was murdered in a skirmish. He did not need to die, but he did.
Many lives are still being shattered daily due to the petty and uneccessary warfare in places such as the Central African Republic- why should it matter whether we are muslim or christian? Why should people kill each other for different beliefs?
In my opinion, there is no point talking but not doing. It is a problem, and it must be solved. Countries like this could be on the verge of a genocide. But how can we do anything?
Would they listen to us? Probably not.
The poem was written by me, I just wrote what came to my head. I don’t really know what it is, but for the sake of classifying things we can call it a poem.
When I go to school everyday, when I look at myself in the mirror, I see myself. I don’t see “Indian” or “Asian” or “Black” or “Brown”. When I see my friends, or people walking down the street, I don’t see them as a colour.
Yet it is still something that people feel the need to comment upon, and not necessarily in a bad way. Personally, I think that you can still retain your own culture and traditions without distinguishing race, sexuality or gender.
We should not see colour, but I think we still do.
I hope that has explained some things! Good night!