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Can music unite a nation?

If you’re sick and tired of me going on about the “eminent” World Cup of Soccer on the way to South Africa – yes – less than 30 days time – then change the channel because here’s a load more jibber jabber on the situation.

Today I came across one of the funniest and most endearing videos I have ever seen – now it’s not what you think – there are no story lines here…no script…no prompts or political backing behind this occurrence…this is sheer South Africa – raw and uncut – okay, maybe it’s not as serious as it I make it out to be because from a first impression the video will probably make you keel over in hysterics…I know I did the first time I watched it.

After composing myself I watched it again just in case I missed anything and the truth of the matter is that I laughed, but not as hard as the first time because – introspective old me took a deeper look – and what I have deduced and perceived from this brilliant video is that music unites. It does not matter what colour skin you have, what racial or cultural background you’re from or what “generation” you’ve grown up in – in the end – music has the power to unite! The End.

Zef en cooler as jy…

What I find most intriguing about this video is that…the music/music video being played on the TV is not some gangster rap or Kwaito song that you’ll find blearing from your local road commanding taxi – this is a song from “Jack Parow” – South Africa’s acclaimed “King of The Zef” – now for those of you not in “the know” about what “zef” is…put simply, it can be compared to the American version of “Hillbilly” or “Common” – in essence, “zef” is an Afrikaans colloquial term for “common” (hope that clears that up…I hope…) – A Jack Parow song…I know…insane…a song rapped 98% in Afrikaans has maid – excuse the pun – this housekeeper shake her booty like it’s 1999…!

To put this all in a local context, as South Africans, we have all been exposed to some of the most “turbulent times” imaginable over the last year or so – numerous strikes, the Eskom woes, political fraud, Malema and very recently…a statement from JZ (President Jacob Zuma) saying that in 4 years time, the local government, the ANC, has no more excuses for the state of the country – which is as bold a statement as any leading figure has ever made in history.

With all of that leading up to the World Cup of Soccer, which is literally knocking at our “stoep” (door step), this video shows that we as a South African society have the potential to unite and stand together as a country and face whatever may come in the next 30 days, the next year and even the next 4 years and onwards!

Taking on the philosophy of the late Bob Marley – and no, I’m not talking about adopting the Rastafarian lifestyle, so you can put the “bong” away – I’m talking about his musical and life orientated philosophy. Bob Marley literally believed that you can change someone…literally change the way a person relates to another race, eliminating their prejudice and racism, with music. Sounds simple enough…well…maybe in an ideal world it can be true and life is not always as easy as it sounds! But…yes…there’s a ‘but’…take another look at this video and tell me that music, does not hold a certain power…a healing power…a uniting power that, to me, quite frankly blurs the turbulences and the strife I have mentioned above!

One love…

I believe in this notion…I truly believe it.

Call me idealistic…

Call me a dreamer…

Call me unrealistic and naïve…

But…in the same breath…

Call me what I am…

Call me passionate…

Call me positive…

Call me South African!

Some of you may find this editorial contrived and whimsical, go on, call it what you will, but the fact of the matter is that South Africa is a great country…if you didn’t at least love some part of it, you would have left already and for those SAFFA’s out there…come home…we have boerewors.

(This was posted to ZAGlamour on the 15/05/2010.)

3 comments on “Can music unite a nation?

  1. Adam Mitchell
    May 25, 2010

    I can pantsula and I’m a whitey, just like the white guy in the Klipdrift Choir advert sings in Xhosa or this chickie jams to lekker Mnr Parow. I am all for uniting our variety of SA cultures and also believe music is capable of doing so. I think this is a very relevant post Dave especially on Africa Day – nice one! @AdsMitchell

  2. Matt Visser
    May 25, 2010

    There is nothing contrived or whimsical about boerewors.. 😉 Seriously though, music has and will always be a great unifier, bong or no, great post!

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This entry was posted on May 24, 2010 by in Blogging, David Alves, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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