Saturday, 6 February 2010

Celebrating Legends

Today is a special day for two reasons; it is the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela's release after being incarcerated for 27 years and it is also the day Robert Nesta Marley was born. The day Mandela was freed I was still quite young, I had gone with my parents and younger sister to visit my brothers in boarding school and as the family sat in the car, we heard over the radio that Nelson Mandela had been freed. My parents were ecstatic and even though I was a kid at the time, I knew what it meant for Mandela to be free; it meant South Africa was free, free from the apartheid regime.  Having grown up around stories and images of what was happening across the Limpopo; it was hard to imagine Mandela free and South Africa at peace, but after a long and hard struggle it was. Today, things are different there is a new South Africa, all thanks to Madiba and all the freedom fighters; Biko, Hani, Tambo, Sisulu, Tutu etc. Others may call what Mandela did a great betrayal, but it takes alot more human strength to forgive than it does to persecute. South Africa may have walked the long walk to freedom, but the long walk to equality is far from over and in some ways a more complex journey. However, there is reason to be hopeful the Rainbow Nation will succeed - as someone reminded me on Facebook this morning pashoma ne pashoma, as we say in Shona, little by little the struggle for equality shall be attained.

"Bless my eyes this morning, Jah sun is on the rise once again." Those lines would always ring in my head every morning for the longest time in giving thanks to the Most High for a new day and today is one day I give thanks to the Almighty JAH for His Prophet, the son of Joseph, Bob Marley. His music is as revolutionary as it is spiritual and it is truth to this day. The song "Zimbabwe" is evidence of this truth; if anyone truly understands what is happening in the country (and what is also caused by those outside) today, they would know why...

To divide and rule could only tear us apart;
In every man chest, mmm - there beats a heart.
So soon we'll find out who is the real revolutionaries;
And I don't want my people to be tricked by mercenaries.

Brother, you're right, you're right,
You're right, you're right, you're so right!
We'll 'ave to fight (we gon' fight), we gonna fight (we gon' fight),
We'll 'ave to fight (we gon' fight), fighting for our rights!

Natty trash it in-a Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe);
Mash it up in-a Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe);
Set it up in-a Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe);
Africans a-liberate Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe);
Africans a-liberate Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe);
Natty dub it in-a Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe).

No comments: