Archive | August, 2010

Featured Artist: Spoek Mathambo

30 Aug

“My Machine Gun” is the title of Spoek Mathambo’s latest album, single, and band (in English). The actual (Zulu) title of this Joburg-based New Wave/Afro-beat rapper’s album is Mshini Wam.

Check out the video:

A Little Background

Umshini wami, also known as Awuleth’ Umshini Wami (bring me my machine gun), was a popular struggle song that was used by the military division of the African National Congress (ANC) political party while battling the Apartheid regime of the 1970s and 80s. President Jacob Zuma went under fire in recent years for singing the song at ANC rallies (prior to becoming president last year), but in 2008 he denounced the singing of Umshini Wami by rioters after violent, xenophobic attacks against immigrants from neighboring African countries became increasingly prevalent in the country.

(Unrelated: please note the crowd’s 4-part harmony!)

Protest Songs in 2010?

Mathambo views himself “as a part of a new wave of energy in Africa, which is intent on nurturing a sense of progressiveness while maintaining a pride in culture.”1 With the political issues he refers to in the title and in the songs of his album Mathambo describes how much South Africa has grown as a nation, and yet how far there is still left to go. Machine guns and protest songs, while they represent once “necessary” components of the evolution of South Africa and are undoubtedly melded in the history and culture of the country, must be substituted with other means of “communication” if the country is to continue moving in a positive direction.

Want a sneak peak of Mshini Wam album?

Preview Mshini Wam on The FADER (only 48 hours)


Listen to Nike Sportswear x The FADER’s Pitch Perfect Mixtape #6: Africa by Spoek Mathambo:

Mathambo’s latest album drops on Tuesday 31 August (tomorrow) on BBE so make sure to check out the album and get yourself a copy if you feel so inclined (the FADER preview link will only work for 48 hours so…no time to procrastinate). I was listening to the album while writing this and I’m diggin it…

What do you think of Spoek Mathambo’s new album?

What do you think of the controversial title?

Until next time,

-Mbali-

Ever Been on a Soul Safari?

16 Aug

African Jazz Pioneers

If you like soul/jazz/funk music then you should definitely check out this informative music blog called Soul Safari which highlights South African and other African artists in the aforementioned genres. The blog is the brainchild of DJ/producer Eddy de Clercq.

Also, I think the blog name is witty…

Enjoy!

Until next time,

-Mbali-

Birds of a Feather…

14 Aug

I’m no ornithologist but the birds in South Africa put American ones to shame. Though I will admit that might be an unfair judgement to make, seeing as how the State Bird in New York is basically the pigeon (ew).

I’m sure other states have more interesting fauna…

My Favorite Bird...

But I digress…According to my very legitimate Google research one bird in particular that I’ve been noticing for the past couple of weeks is called a Southern Masked Weaver (note the intense nest-making skills they’re famous for):

Southern Masked Weaver

Ain’t he a beauty? Please also note that I’m in the city of Johannesburg, so No, you don’t have to be on some safari or specialized bird-watching tour to catch a sighting of cool birds (wild cats, on the other hand, are another story). I’m just saying! Until next time, -Mbali-

Please Don’t Stop the Music – Mafikizolo

11 Aug

I haven’t been listening to nearly enough South African music so I started doing some “research” today. One of the first bands I stumbled onto was Kwaito/Afro Pop group, Mafikizolo, and I’m liking what I’ve heard so far (which is only one song haha).

Check out their “throwback” hit, “Nisixoshelani” (rolls off the tongue nicely, doesn’t it?) after the jump –

Apparently (based on You.Tube comments below the video) they’re singing, “Why are you chasing us away…when the party is so nice,” which is a theme anyone who’s been to a prematurely broken up high school house party can attest to!

Anyone have other South African music to suggest?

Until next time,

-Mbali-

South Africa to Act on Workplace Gender Equity

11 Aug

Yesterday was National Women’s Day here in South Africa, in honor of the march 20,000 women staged on August 9th, 1956 to petition legislation that required Black South Africans to carry a pass book (identification documents) to prove they were allowed to enter certain areas. 54 years later over 5,000 people gathered at Kings Park Stadium in Durban to commemorate the historic march.

During his address to the crowd at this commemorative Women’s Day event President Jacob Zuma stated, “Some urgent action is required in the private sector to improve gender and race diversity at top management level.”

Hear, hear!

Let’s hope some cold, hard results come from this initiative! In a country where people of color are the overwhelming majority it makes no sense for the corporate world to reflect otherwise. Read more at SouthAfrica.info.

Shades of Old

9 Aug

I wasn’t planning on using this blog platform to share my sartorial desires but I loved these too much not to share:

Sir & Madame Vintage Shades: Cazal 740

Sir & Madame Vintage Shades: Gucci 1301

Visit their website here: Sir & Madame Vintage Eyewear

Until next time,

-Mbali-