Through the 1900s and till date, Black South Africans had to deal with repression of their rights and the fallout created by Apartheid. Despite being the minority, the whites amassed wealth and then instituted laws to guarantee their material superiority. While today the political power is now in the hands of Black South Africans, there is still a distance that must be gone to redistribute the country’s wealth and alter the Apartheid legacy that has caused it to have the greatest inequality in the world. The Struggle, a term coined to represent the fight for freedom is marked by days like the 16th of June which marked the start of the Soweto Uprising back in 1976.
As we appreciate the battles fought for the reality we have today, we acknowledge the need to continue to do more. Music was always an important tool to deal with the oppression faced as well as kick back against it and here are five South African songs that characterise the struggle, particularly important as we remember the daring lives lost on this day 42 years ago.
No struggle in South Africa is complete without a song. It liberated many from fear and united many to liberate themselves.
Hugh Masekela’s ‘Send Me’ (2002)
Safa Saphel Isizwe’s ‘Sarafina’ (1992)
‘Solomon Mahlangu’ by Khonaye (2016)
‘A Luta Continua’ by Mariam Makeba (1989)
EFF ‘Nobody Wanna See Us Together’
Playlist curated by Obakeng Leseyane.