Have you ever noticed how powerful music can be? I can listen to a tune and be transported back instantly to that time. For example, if I hear any songs from the movie “Dirty Dancing” I am immediately transported to the 80’s, to my summer holiday on the Breede River where our family went camping. That summer every Aunty and her daughter had the soundtrack playing from inside their tents and caravans.
I also find that if I am in certain situations I start recalling a song that identifies with me. Right now my brain is like my “iPod” and unfortunately it’s broken. It is continuously playing the chorus of two songs in particular.
Firstly it’s “Should I stay or should I go” by The Clash. Every time I read more and more conflicting reports on South Africa and it’s economy – the song starts! I read that according to Clem Sunter, South Africa has dropped from position 38 to position number 53 on the 55 top ranked industrial nations list. Apparently we only have Venezuela and the Ukraine beneath us and should we drop further we will no longer qualify for loans and Fitch won’t even bother to give us a rating anymore. So what does this say for the South African economy, foreign investment and job creation?
My next top hit is “We’ve Gotto Get Out Of This Place” by The Animals. This song usually starts when I see things that scare me. I was disappointed at the behaviour of the possible future president of South Africa, who stood on the court steps in Pietermarizburg singing his ‘one hit wonder’ “uMashini wami” (Bring me my machine gun – a revolution song from his days in “Umkhonto we Sizwe”) and sees his current court case of corruption charges aligned with a form of ‘;struggle’. He condemned those singing his ‘one hit wonder’ while carrying out Xenophobic violence but sang it happily for his supporters. Mr Julius Malema, our ANC Youth League President, vowing to “Kill for Zuma” is another cause for concern. Julius Malema, along with Zwelinzima Vavi, (President of COSATU) and ‘new’ ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe,( who is also a SACP chairperson), have been using a very militarised vocabulary, such as “ready to kill” and “prepare for war”. The ANC’s idea of democracy is becoming concerning as statements eluding to them being in power till the second coming of Christ doesn’t show any respect for the democratic process, especially when stating that “the remnants of the counter-revolution must be ‘eliminated’.” (This is in reference to the former constitutional courts and the Democratic Alliance.) It is as if a ‘new’ ANC is emerging and it appears to have found a new struggle, a new fight but at what cost?
So as my, lets call it “brain-ipod”, plays out these tunes during my times of delusion and fear for my country why is it that when it plays “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika” or “Impi” by Savuka, I have tears running down my cheeks?
It’s a strange place to be in.