Ndodemnyama we Verwoerd was written in the s by the iconic Vuyisile Mini, a singer and ANC member who wrote some of the most influential resistance songs in the early years of apartheid. Directly translated from isiXhosa to English, the lyrics read:. Watch out, here is the black man, Verwoerd! Hamba Kahle Umkhonto.
Nkosi Siskel Iafrika. Toyi Toyi Beat. Rolihlahla Public Domain. Sizo Ngena Public Domain. Ilizwe Ngelethu Public Domain. Somlandela Public Domain. U-Machel Public Domain. Sobashiya Abazale Public Domain. Welele Public Domain. Freedom Charter Public Domain. Shayalan Amabala Public Domain. It employs a series of trumpet riffs by Masekela, supported by grand series of chords.
Music review website AllMusic describes the melody as "filled with the sense of camaraderie and celebration that are referred to in the lyrics. The vocal choir during the joyous chorus is extremely moving and life affirming".
Makeba uses this as a platform for vocals that are half-sung and half-spoken, similar to blues music. The apartheid government greatly limited freedom of expression, through censorship, reduced economic freedom, and reduced mobility for black people. The government established the Directorate of Publications in through the Publications Act, but this body only responded to complaints, and took decisions about banning material that was submitted to it.
However, the government used its control of the South African Broadcasting Corporation to prevent "undesirable" songs from being played which included political or rebellious music, and music with "blasphemous" or overtly sexual lyrics , and to enforce its ideal of a cultural separation between racial groups, in addition to physical separation it had created.
As a result of the practices of the SABC, record companies began putting pressure on their artists to avoid controversial songs, and often also made changes to songs they were releasing. Black musicians were forbidden from playing at venues when alcohol was sold, and performers were required to have an extra "night pass" to be able to work in the evenings.
Since these were based in the "independent" homelands of Transkei and Bophutatswana , respectively, they were nominally not bound by the government's regulations. Although they tended to follow the decisions of the Directorate, they also played music by bands such as Juluka, which were not featured by the SABC.
Neither station, however, played "Sun City" when it was released in , as the owners of the Sun City resort had partial ownership of both stations. A large number of musicians, including Masekela and Makeba, as well as Abdullah Ibrahim and Vusi Mahlasela , were driven into exile by the apartheid government. Songs written by these people were prohibited from being broadcast, as were all songs that opposed the apartheid government.
Nonetheless, it became a part of the number of musical voices protesting the apartheid regime,  and became an important song for the anti-apartheid movement in the late s. Artists within South Africa sometimes used subtle lyrics to avoid the censors. The censor failed to notice this, and the song became immensely popular, reaching No 1 on the government's own radio station. Other bands used more direct lyrics, and faced censorship and harassment as a result.
Savuka , a multi-racial band, were often arrested or had their concerts raided for playing their song "Asimbonanga", which was dedicated to Biko, Mandela, and others associated with the anti-apartheid movement. Major surveillance and threats from police sparked trouble at the beginning of the tour, which created issues over suitable venues, and the musicians were forced to play in abandoned buildings. Lucey's producers were intimidated by the security forces, and his musical recordings confiscated: Lucey himself abandoned his musical career.
The song was banned, and an individual could be jailed for five years for owning a copy of it. After the release of his first album "Change is Pain" in , he was arrested and tortured: the album was banned. When they were stopped, black musicians were often asked to play for the police, to prove that they were in fact musicians.
Commentators have stated that as with many social movements, music played a large role in the resistance to apartheid. Writing in the Inquiries Journal , scholar Michela Vershbow writes that although the music of the anti-apartheid movement could not and did not create social change in isolation, it acted as a means of unification, as a way of raising awareness of apartheid, and allowed people from different cultural background to find commonality.
The groups themselves intended their performances to raise awareness of apartheid outside South Africa sometimes described as raising consciousness , and to generate support for their activities, as well as to raise funds for the ANC. In addition, they filled the role of "presenting an alternative vision of culture in a future democratic South Africa.
Music scholar Anne Schumann writes that music protesting apartheid became a part of Western popular culture, and the "moral outrage" about apartheid in the west was influenced by this music. In , their blessed CD got a Grammy award as the best-traditional-world-music. Their music makes us dream of a peaceful exotic land as our worries and troubles disappear into oblivion. Well, by that am not talking about any other music group, but the one and only Ladysmith Black Mombazo acapella group.
Brenda Fassie, best known as the queen of African pop, is one of the well-acclaimed musicians from South Africa who enjoyed international fame. Until her death, which happened on May 9th, , this singer and performer, toured different regions of the world while scooping a number of awards and sharing platforms with some of the greatest international musicians like Whitney Houston, Freshlyground, and Lionel Richie.
Trevor Jones may not be that popular outside the film world, but some of his projects have actually managed to make him an international musician and one of the greatest from South Africa, as well. Hugh Masekela, born on 4th April , is a flugelhornist, cornetist, trumpeter, composer, and singer from South Africa. Actually, that was the first African Jazz group to have ever recorded an LP and, as well, perform to a record-breaking audience in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Freshlyground is an Afro-fusion band that was formed in in Cape Town.
Interesting enough, this band has members from South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique, all who bring versatility to the music the group produces. Singing built the courage necessary for people to take on a seemingly unbeatable opposition. Each chapter of apartheid, whether it was passive resistance, military action, violence and death, elections, or victories, led to the birth of a new group of songs. In South Africa, song remains an integral emotional release and vital political vehicle amongst the masses.
Freedom Songs will not only move you, but also take you on an historical journey that changed the course of a nation. In , African artists continued to make major strides by signing big deals, winning top awards, Top SA hip hop songs of Hip Hop is among the biggest genres in South Africa and has forged a unique sound for itself Top 10 Naija dance songs of It has been a great year in the Nigerian music scene, witnessing many singles and album releases Top 10 East African music collabos of Collaborations can often bring much success to musicians around the world.
By Lucy Ilado. Comments Log in or register to post comments. Projects and Grants. Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin.View credits, reviews, tracks and shop for the Vinyl release of Liberation Southafrica - Freedom Songs on Discogs. Label: Safco Records - A • Format: Vinyl LP, Album • Country: US • Genre: Jazz, Non-Music, Folk, World, & Country • Style: Free Jazz, Political, Contemporary Jazz, Poetry.