Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mannenberg Is Where It's Happening

Mannenberg is perhaps one of the most politically charged songs in the history of the South African Struggle. The song came to Abdullah Ibrahim then known as Dollar Brand almost serendipitously one day after Cape Town's District Six had been razed to the ground. What I like about this song is that it first and foremost defined the Cape Jazz sound and secondly it was political and subversive in a way very few songs at the time were. It's melody is pleasant and nostalgic - almost easy listening but it's the title that got South African's of all shades really riled up. From the townships of Meadow lands and Mannenberg to the Umkhoto we Sizwe training camps in Tanzania and Zimbabwe Mannenberg's tune rang clear and true reminding them of what they had lost, asserting a future that was pendant on their actions - a future that was now in their hands, Mannenberg was where it all begun.


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