Word Sound Power: An Evening with Mutabaruka!

An ‘Evening with Mutabaruka’ was held at the Wits Theatre in Johannesburg, as part of the Africa Month 2018 Music and Literature Festival; organised by African Womens Writers Network.

It never gets tired. It never gets old. Still relevant.

We drove home last night after an evening of enlightenment, teachings, reasoning, history, poetry, music, reawakening of black consciousness and rejuvenation of spirit, mind and soul. As we drove back home, leaving behind the shimmering lights of the city of gold,  with sidewalks paved with homeless people, the winter cold piercing through the night;  we were reminded of that dreadful year of 1652 when Dat Poem spoke of the wretched sea that washed ships to these shores.

We clenched our fists in black salute as Dat Poem called names, names like Lumumba Kenyatta Nkrumah Hannibal Akenaton Malcolm Garvey Haile Selassie. We swelled with pride and honour as we appreciated Da Poem for Lucky Dube

Lucky Dube, him band named slave, da reason why him call it slave, him said: We are all Slaves, until Africa and Africans are Free.

We sobered up when he spoke of leaders with political clout but are landless rendering them powerless . We were reminded of our pathetic state of landlessness in a place we call home. This very idea is a big disgrace.  A voice shouted:


We were amused by the follies and contradictions of religion, tickled by fables from the bible where we are made to believe that a snake spoke to Eve, yet but our stories are reduced to folklore.

We were Reggae Strong when we remind the world that Rasta teachings have always been about ital livity (dem call it vegetarianism/veganism), Freeing up da herb (dem call it medical marijuana), and the Mother Land. Dem only catching up now.

As we trodded back home from the evening with Mutabaruka, Dis Poem continued in our minds. We shall not stop listening to Dis Poem. we decided to listen to Dis Poem one more time, and we play it back in our minds, as we shut eye.

A heartical thank you to Arts Alive and the African Women Writers Network for their work in reconnecting us with the master teacher once again. The atmosphere was poetic. The venue was packed. The stage was lit. First it was Poet Nomsa Shenge Dlamini setting the tone for the evening rendering her poem Africa My Beginning. Poet Mak Manaka lit up and fired missiles:

 ‘I feel like grabbing this liberation by the throat. Free from what? I want to be free from the present. I want to be emancipated from mental slavery.” – Mak Manaka.

In true African tradition iMbongi, Praise singer Jessica Mbangeni,  welcomed home the son of the soil, Elder Mutabaruka.

He stepped pon di stage like:

The rest shall be streamed.

Soon Come.

Mutabaruka will perfom again in Secunda on 13th of June and again on the 16th of June at Soweto International Jazz Festival in Soweto.



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