Not only is it Human Rights Day in South Africa today (read up on its meaning by searching our archive for ‘Sharpeville’), this day 22 years ago also saw Namibia wrestle itself officially free from the same Apartheid claws that were responsible for the massacre in Sharpeville. Which makes it a day both to remember and to celebrate. I’m picking up the Independence Day meme of popular music we started last year. 5 Namibian tunes. First up, Overitje group Ondarata’s ‘Tuvare Tuakapanda’:
Grand Kalle‘s, “Independence Cha-Cha,” has been on my mind recently (mainly because i recently got hip to rapper Baloji’s rendition… see below). I first heard the song when browsing a friend’s cds. Grand Kalle’s vocals over the laid back, jazzy vibe, along with the distinct soukous style guitar riffs made me feel so happy that i had to listen to the song several times, desperately trying (but mainly failing) to make out the songs full meaning. I heard “Lumumba,” but was not sure of the context, so i looked it up. I learned that the song became an anthem for the independence movement that was trying to rid itself of it’s Belgian political rulers. Here is an English translation:
This post is dedicated to Miriam Makeba (4 March 1932 – 10 November 2008). She was more than just a talented musician; she was an activist who used her music as a weapon in the fight against South African apartheid. Because of her refusal to submit to her country’s oppressive government, she was exiled from her home until after apartheid formally ended.
If you’re not familiar with her globally-renowned music, take moment to scan youtube for her gems. I’ve included two of my favorites here to help get you started. [update 3/16/2013 – i originally included Liwa Wechi, however, it has since been removed from youtube. i replaced it with another great track!]