Culture: Listen Up – Year of Soulful Delivery, Daughters of Ingoma

The role of an artist is to create work that cannot be surpassed. This musical continent of ours has given birth to women whose music is doing battle with the funky R&B and Hip-pop music of America that is flooding our shores.

Not only are they giving us songs that will be passed on to the next generation, they are also contributing to the use of indigenous languages. The call of our honorable president Thabo Mbeki, of the spirit of “African Renaissance”, was heard by these black angels. Thandiswa Mazwai cried out in a song’ Zabalaza’, Simphiwes Dana’s memoir “˜Zandisile’ and Zama Jobe echoed these in “˜Ndawo Yami’. They are going back to their roots, to find a source of inspiration.

When I heard Thandiswa’s song, “Nizalwa Ngobani?” I immediately bought the CD packed with 13 revolutionary songs. The unique voice fuses traditional Xhosa melodies, proving that there is no doubt about her immense creativity that can mix the new with the old. Thandiswa came on stage glowing with a smile full of love for what she does. Singing “Transkei Moon” praising the home of her late mother, speaking about her beauty, her people and her natural mysticism, singing of how she found herself in that rural land of Mandela.

The man who is GodAubrey ka Saki

Heaven above Founded in glory, The Omniscient, One that knoweth all.

Him the Alpha And the Omega, Maker of mankind, The beginning And the end.

All that is life From Him, emanates For man, beast And living organisms To praise and worship.

He’s the Omnipotent Beyond and beyond, ‘Cos Him doneth all, As the life-giver.The man who is God.

The people were humming with her, and those who knew the song were singing along. After that the people were dancing to “Lahl’Umlenze” the hitsong of the people of e-Bhayi who were sweating to the beat.

Thandiswa was conscientising the youth that attended her show, she was asking us to honour those who died for us, and not to forget those sheroes who gave their last for us. With her powerful voice the hall was encoring Biko, Sobukwe, Madikizela, Nkrumah and Abaphantsi (ancestors). The daughter of Mazwai made magic in the friendly city, faces of people were full of smiles and satisfaction.

After the show one girl confessed “Since listening to Thandiswa’s CD I look at our history in a different way and I’m proud of being an African”. If her words can change one township girl, I think the ancestors will bless her in a thousand ways. Thandiswa cannot be labelled as a musician, she is an artist.

Possessed voice”˜Ndiredi’ was the song that introduced Simphiwe Dana to me, the possessed voice stuck to me. The Erykah Badu look alike, chocolate-skinned girl that hails from the Eastern Cape has given birth to an 11-track debut album titled “Zandisile”.

Her soothing voice, poured out emotions of hope and despair at the same time inspiring the listener. Simphiwe’s songs must be labelled as Xhosa spiritual soul music, her songs are deep and her voice touching. The girl from Butterworth said in one newspaper, “I’m free, and I understand myself and value my culture. I realise that there is nothing wrong with me. I am the product of my own environment”.

She pronounces her Africanness proudly, she does not mince her words about her identity. When Simphiwe entered the stage with her popular song “˜Ndiredi’, the people in the hall were standing – some running towards the stage to have a closer look at the elegant and regal girl. I was mesmerized by Simphiwe’s thin tall looks with black lips in a Rastafarian outfit…. Oh I was possessed. You could feel her compassion and genuine love.

“Ndiyanithanda Bantu base-Bhayi” to which her fans roared “Siyakuthanda nathi”. Watching her performing, there is no doubt that she is spiritually possessed and music to her is a calling. In Zazi, Simphiwe’s one-year old daughter, God found the right womb to deliver her on this earth. Thandiswa and Simphiwe’s voices ripped the Centenary Hall, the atmosphere was inscribed with joy, in songs and carrying to posterity Africa’s noblest.

Daughters of IngomaThe daughters of Ingoma, sang with their people who gave them the songs to carry on with them to the world abroad. This time is ours; the youth is finding itself in the songs of their peers. In our music archives we must mark these years as times of soulful delivery.

There from Soweto comes another daughter of Ingoma claiming her rightful place. “Ndawo Yami” with her debut album pregnant with 12 harmonic love songs. Watch this girl – Zama Jobe; she will take you somewhere out there. I haven’t seen her live, but I will soon. Listen up to these voices of ours….

CosatuChris Mabunda

From 1985 to 2005 From Elijah Barayi to Willie Madisha and future leaders From apartheid to freedom and democracy

Who is Cosatu? Is Cosatu The Congress of South African Trade Unions? Or, is Cosatu The South African Congress of Trade Unions? Show me the difference!

An injury to one is an injury to all! Organise or starve! Tell me the derivative

Take it from me, The Marxist ideologies gave birth to Cosatu and communism, Cosatu shall continue to fight capitalism, In order to attain socialism.

20 years of struggle, A struggle against apartheid atomic energy, A struggle against barbarism and bossism, A struggle against capitalism and casualisation, Yes, a struggle against crime and corruption.

20 years of struggle, A struggle against discrimination and dismissals, A struggle against fascism and favouritism, Indeed, a struggle against job-losses and jingoism.

Who is Cosatu? Is Cosatu, Sactu or vice-versa, Tell me, I am not very sure exactly.

20 years of struggle, A struggle against labour brokers and lay-offs, A struggle against abject poverty and political system of the past, A struggle against racism and retrenchments, Indeed a struggle against unemployment.

Hey! Hey! Hey! Basebenzi, mosebetsi, mutirhi, mushumi, werker, anjito, All workers of South Africa, Join Cosatu Build Cosatu, Build Cosatu now!

From sweeper to engineer, Nurse to doctor Teacher to professor.

Halalaa Cosatu! Halalaa! Cosatu you are like a parasol, Truly you are like a sunshade Believe me or not, Cosatu is an umbrella The mother of all unions, 20 years of celebration 20 years of hope 20 years of victory Victory, victory