Monday, May 26, 2008

Monday Morning You Look So Fine: Not In Our Lifetime.

This is actually being written Thursday the 29th, but is certainly an accurate reflection of what was going through my mind again and again on Monday morning...

Come early Sunday morning, I was busy shooting for a long term project that looks at xenophobia, amongst other aspect's of South Africa's history; this amidst the recent wave of xenophobic violence that gripped some of our larger cities. This project has been in the planning/research stages since January 2006, but even so, I had to rush back from the Botswana border area to make it to Jazzworx Studios to help out a friend or two. Lee Kasumba (with me, below) and Slikour of Skwatta Kamp have put together an initiative that saw a wealth of South African musicians, producers and engineers come together to raise their voices against the violence... it is perhaps best explained here, in The Star.

Anyway, Monday morning all I had in my head was the loop of the track everyone had been working on, along with some powerful and moving lyrics... Tuks and MXO made a particular impact on the opening.

Monday night I was still in the studio, after a brief respite, having the hair on the back of my neck raised by the vocals of Simphiwe Dana and a singer from Côte d'Ivoire; so much work had already been added after I left in the wee hours of Monday morning. I was sitting with HHP, trying to decipher Tuk's lyrics at about 20:00 the Monday night, but we were struggling; though a prominent voice in Tswana, HHP tells me that Tuks not only speaks a very proper form of the language at times, he also uses a lot of poetic licence and seane, or proverbial reference.

Regardless, the effect is striking, and what we were able to glean (both of us are open to correction) is below.

"Pump! Pump lebole up!
Sun shines on the wicked... the just...
The poor... the plush...
The free, so we must,
Be a God given right, even for the refugees,
Pump lebole up,
Thari ka sebilo go bokejwana ka manchwe..." - Tuks for Not In Our Lifetime

Some of these images will be shown in connection with Not In Our Lifetime in the upcoming days, with a selection appearing in One Small Seed; plans will also be made to sell artist's proofs, with the proceeds going to help the cause...

But for now, it is about the song. Keep an ear out for it... and be mindful of its message. And now and as the campaign gathers momentum, please do what you can to help the victims of the violence, those on the ground and those in their white towers that constantly put down this country and simply compound the frustration that led to such tragedy in the first place.



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