Mhambi has been redeployed.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I'm a prisoner in my own country

South Africa's biggest Reggae Star has been killed in a botched car-hijacking. His former keyboarder Eugene Mthethwa wrote in todays Guardian. Lucky Dube's first album Rastas never die was banned in South Africa.

Lucky was one of the artists that this country did not honour accordingly, but buried him while he was still alive. He was more appreciated outside South Africa than in his own country. During apartheid, when he was singing against the system, he got much media coverage and love from the South African people, including the state itself, but post-1994 when we achieved the freedom he was fighting for, he never got the love he deserved, even from our state.

I am reminded of an incident when I was still his keyboard player and we were invited to perform in the then South West Africa, now known as Namibia. The booking never indicated that we would be performing at a military camp for the South African Defence Force. We only realised this when we arrived for the actual performance and saw white men in army uniforms.

We knew that we were trapped in a situation that might kill Lucky Dube's career due to the political incorrectness of the performance and a possible bomb attack from the military wing of the South West African Political Organisation led by the former president Sam Nujoma.

We got together to discuss the issue but had no answers as we could not pull out at that time. The contract had already been signed and all payments made. We ended up getting on stage and performing against our will and our principled stand against the state.

All I can remember is white soldiers dancing to lyrics like, "I am a prisoner in my own country," and here and there Lucky would sing derogatory words in Zulu so that they didn't pick up the meaning. We laughed about the incident all the many hours back to Johannesburg, as we were travelling by road and not by air.

In essence I am bringing back these memories to highlight our ruthless and non-appreciative attitude towards our own history, which we should embrace and look after by all means necessary.

War and Crime Lyrics - Lucky Dube

Every where in the world
People are fighting for freedom
Nobody knows what is right
Nobody knows what is wrong
The black man say it' s the white man
The white man say it' s the black man
Indians say it' s the coloureds
Coloureds say it' s everyone
Your mother didn' t tell you the truth
Cause my father didn' t tell me the truth
Nobody knows what is wrong
And what is right
How long is this gonna last
Cause we' ve come so far so fast

When it started, you and I were not there so
Why don' t we
Bury down apartheid
Fight down war and crime
Racial discrimination
Tribal discrimination

You and I were not there when it started
We don' t know where it' s coming from
And where it' s going
So why don' t we

I' m not saying this
Because I' m a coward
But I' m thinking of the lives
That we lose everytime we fight
Killing innocent people
Women and children yeah
Who doesn' t know about the government
Who doesn' t know about the wars going on
Your mother didn' t tell you the truth
Cause my father did not tell me the truth

Together as one - Lucky Dube

In my whole life,
My whole life
I've got a dream (x2)

Too many people
Hate apartheid
Why do you like it? (x2)

Chorus: (x3)
Hey you rasta man
Hey European,Indian man
We've got to come together as one
Not forgetting the Japanese

The cats and the dogs
Have forgiven each other
What is wrong with us (x2)

All those years
Fighting each other
But no solution (x2)

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Gareth Thomas Searle said...

so sad
i'm having a difficult time being sa positivo lately.

Wessel said...

I think allot of people have trouble staying positive.

And considering some of the news coming out of the country its not surprising.

The whole country needs trauma counceling.