‘Safa saphela isizwe esimnyama’, a distinct musical composition that came with Sarafina represented a craft of artist whose aim, apart from expressing art for its own sake, is to use their space to raise societal issues.
In the history of all revolutions in the regions of the world, art has played a fundamental role to awaken and strengthen the spirit of vigorous involvement in society. Mama Miriam Makeba, Mbongeni Ngema, Hugh Masikela, Wally Serote, Lucky Dube, Lady Smith Black Mambazo are some of the names that campaigned against unbearable injustices suffered by black people during the apartheid era.
Music, poems and artistic paintings became a strong discourse that challenged the state to free political leaders, unbanning liberation movements, equalizing society in all its spheres.
Art in its entirety served as a reminder to the young and old black domestic worker that her role was beyond the household of the madam. It reminded the garden boy who had endured harsh weather conditions that his efforts were greatly demanded to govern the country. It brought hope to the mine and farm workers who were exploited by white capitalists that someday, they will own their own mines and farms. It strengthened the fighting spirit of the school children who were taught in the oppressor’s language that their 76 march will inspire other youth struggles in the future. Continue with struggle.
As said in Tracy Chapman’s ‘Talking about a revolution’: Poor people gonna rise up And get their share Poor people gonna rise up And take what’s theirs.
Long live Art!
By Ndumiso Mabena