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The People's Poet evokes emotions

By Sbusiso Shongwe | Mar 27, 2012 | COMMENTS [ 31 ]

WHILE political parties are entangled in feuds over the venue changes and relevance of the Sharpville massacre of March 21 1960 - now known as Human Rights Day - poet Mzwakhe Mbuli seems to be the proverbial voice of reason.

This is particularly most pertinent when one considers the title and refrain of one of his poems, Change is Pain.

With the release of his new album, titled Amandla - isiZulu for power - Mbuli celebrates the legacies of the leaders who fought for the liberation of South Africa.

Track 5, titled Sharpeville Massacre, stands out and challenges the decision of changing Sharpeville Day - in which 69 people were brutally killed by the then a partheid police government - to Human Rights Day .

The "People's Poet" describes the Sharpeville massacre as "an act of cowardic e that tarnished the image of South Africa abroad" and says the ruling party is distorting the history of the country.

"Hundred and eighty people were hurt and of the 69 killed, most were shot in the back. These people were defenceless, they were running for cover," says Mbuli.

He says if the people of Sharpeville were to listen to this album, they would revolt against the name change of the event.

"I tell it like it is. This is the only massacre, its not a hairstyle that changes over time. Can you change the celebration of Esandlwana to another name, to another date or place? The Zulu people will kill you," he says.

He believes that since the history of Sharpeville is being distorted, his album will serve as a case study for the young generation.

"I received a call from a parent asking me where she can find the album because her child wants to use it for her history studies.

"My question is, what history are you teaching our children if you keep changing it?" he asks.

One would have expected Mbuli to shy away from the politics of this country after his imprisonment but perhaps Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa's comments were prophetic when he said his poetry "communicates, chastises, consoles, castigates, comforts and explodes into a tirade of condemnation against injustice and oppression where necessary".

COMMENTS [ 31 ]

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“History is written by the victors.”

We are now told that the ANC were the only force fighting in SA for liberation and that every protester who ever was was an ANC operative. The border war was only MK and the exiles were actually throwing stones at Nyala and not sipping whiskey in a foreign city. Sad indeed

Mar 27, 2012 8:57 | 0 replies

@TKay
Some cities must be changed as some of us wouldn't wanna be reminded of people, e.g. Hendrik Verwoed, I don't think there's a sane black person that would wanna be reminded of that man.

Mar 27, 2012 12:19 | 0 replies

"ukulimala kwe nqondo,
uku limala ko muntu.
uku limala ko muntu
uku limala ko mphakathi
uku limala ko mphakathi
huku limala kwe sizwe.

Mar 27, 2012 12:26 | 0 replies

MommaC, that's the part that's always bothered me most about name changes. OR Tambo this, and Mandela that, and that is all good and fine, they deserved it, I suppose, but what about the people on the ground? The ones who could not go into exile and had to stay here and say, "ja ba.as, sorry ba.as". The mothers and fathers of the bloggers here. We know Hector Pieterson's name. What were the names of the 69 that died at Sharpeville? Where's their streets? Their towns? What about the ordinary black person who had to live apartheid more than the ones in exile ever did?

Mar 27, 2012 2:23 | 0 replies

Anc is in the same leugue as NATS and NAZI with their Social Engineering !!

Mar 27, 2012 2:26 | 0 replies

DANKIE MR MBULI

Mar 27, 2012 2:33 | 0 replies

@Sjekula
@TKay
Some cities must be changed as some of us wouldn't wanna be reminded of people, e.g. Hendrik Verwoed, I don't think there's a sane black person that would wanna be reminded of that man.
____________________________________________________________________________________
but the future generation must know who he was and how we got were we are

Mar 27, 2012 2:45 | 0 replies

oldlady2

I suppose there is no nice way to call a city 'cannon fodder'. The glory hounds prefer to use the names they can get a bit of reflected shine off of.

Mar 27, 2012 2:53 | 0 replies

@sakhomba
"ukulimala kwe nqondo,
uku limala ko muntu.
uku limala ko muntu
uku limala ko mphakathi
uku limala ko mphakathi
huku limala kwe sizwe.
=========================================
uku limala kwe sizwe ukulimala komndeni
Yaze ya limala inqondo umuntu ephila.

Agg, I love this guys

Mar 27, 2012 3:8 | 0 replies

@MsKinkyakaKamaSutra -

PS: Haters, play the ball not the (wo)man (in simple terms, DO NOT INSULT ME but digest what I have written)
=========================================================================
You are defending yourself ahead! Re tla go tlhasela rona jong!

Mar 27, 2012 3:11 | 0 replies

I despise this dude, for personal reasons I don't care to discuss, but I have to agree with him on this one. He is telling it like it is.

Mar 28, 2012 8:30 | 0 replies