Interview with South African anti apartheid musician Vusi Mahlasela

This is a music video of Sun City, Artists United Against Apartheid song from 1985.

From British daily The Morning Star:

Freedom songs

(Friday 19 October 2007)

STRUGGLE: Anti-apartheid musician Vusi Mahlasela.

RICHARD BAGLEY encounters the musicians who put the spirit in the anti-apartheid struggle.

MUSIC played a key role in resistance to the institutionalised racism of South African apartheid.

As the Anti-Apartheid Movement grew in strength, it drew in people from all fields of life and countries worldwide, all united in their resistance to white supremacist rule.

For black South African musicians suffering discrimination and brutality in their homeland, this movement provided an international platform for resistance, turning them into easily recognisable symbols of the struggle.

Vusi Mahlasela is among those artists whose careers began amid the dying days of the apartheid regime.

Growing up in the 1970s, he remembers the moment when, at 11 years old, he became politically engaged.

Vusi Mahlasela videos here.

Macmillan‘s Wind of Change speech in South Africa: here.

Sizwe Banzi is Dead, play: here.

6 thoughts on “Interview with South African anti apartheid musician Vusi Mahlasela

  1. South Africa: Lucky Dube – Beloved Brother and Artist

    19 October 2007
    Posted to the web 19 October 2007

    Asanda Austin Jezile
    Cape Town

    South Africa is today mourning the loss of our “Reggae Son,” Lucky Dube. With his family, we grieve over the killing of a beloved brother and artist, who has been a prolific force in the country’s music industry for more than 20 years.

    Lucky Philip Dube was born on August 3, 1964 in Johannesburg. His parents separated before his birth and he, his sister, Thandi, and his brother, Patric, were raised by his mother, Sarah.

    As a child, Lucky worked as a gardener. After realizing he would not earn enough money to keep a family, he decided to go to school. There, he joined the school choir, then formed a group called the Skyward Band with some of his friends. Also at school, he discovered Rastafarian culture and became a Rastafarian, although he did not smoke marijuana or drink alcohol.

    At the age of 18, Dube joined the Love Brothers, a band formed by his cousins which performed the traditional Zulu music known as Mbaqanga. While still a schoolboy, Dube and the band recorded their first album at Tear Records in Johannesburg (now the Gallo Recording Company). When the album was released, the group called itself “Lucky Dube and the Supersoul.”

    For the group’s second album, Dube began to write some of the lyrics himself. He had begun to learn English, and from this time he began to write songs in both Zulu and English – and later even in Afrikaans.

    When the fifth Mbaqanga album was released, the word “Supersoul” was dropped from the group’s name on the basis that fans were responding to Dube’s music and performance in particular. This was done on the advice of Dave Segal, who was to become Dube’s recording engineer.

    In 1984 he released a mini-album called “Rastas Never Die” but it did not sell as well as expected. However, he continued to release commercially successful albums – in all, he recorded 21 albums in Zulu, English and Afrikaans and became South Africa’s biggest selling reggae artist.

    He also won four OKTV awards for the album, “Prisoner.” In 1996 he released a compilation album called “Serious Reggae Business” which led him to be named best-selling African recording artist at the World Music Awards and the international artist of the year at the Ghana Music Awards. His follow-up albums won South African music awards.

    Lucky Dube’s murder is deeply disturbing to South Africans and to reggae fans. It clearly tells us that the crime rate in South Africa is still too high. With the 2010 World Cup knocking on our door, the country cannot tolerate this.

    Asanda Austin Jezile – an intern from the journalism department of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in AllAfrica’s Cape Town office – is a disc jockey in his home community of Mfuleni in South Africa’s Western Cape province.


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