Sim­phiwe Dana’s Mkhonto

CityPress - - The Good Guide - Gugulethu.mh­lungu@city­press.co.za

Fire­brand Sim­phiwe Dana has re­leased a new sin­gle called Mkhonto (Spear) that asks dif­fi­cult and nec­es­sary ques­tions of the spear, ie, the gov­ern­ing ANC party, whose armed mil­i­tary wing was called Umkhonto weSizwe and whose logo fea­tures a spear that the party’s web­site says “rep­re­sents the early wars of re­sis­tance to colo­nial rule, the armed strug­gle ... and the ANC’s on­go­ing strug­gle against racial priv­i­lege and op­pres­sion”.

The song opens with the poignant ques­tions: “Ubukhali lo mkhonto? (Is this spear sharp?)” and “Ubuthuntu lo mkhonto? (Is this spear blunt?)” She also asks di­rectly, “Ubukhal’ umkhonto wesizwe? (Is the spear of the na­tion sharp?)” and “Mkhonto wesizwe na? (Spear of the na­tion?)”, al­most beg­ging to know what the spear of the na­tion is do­ing now. Her four-minute Afro-soul a cap­pella song is haunt­ingly beau­ti­ful and timely, given some of the ques­tions peo­ple are ask­ing about unit­ing, es­pe­cially in lyrics such as “Masih­langa­neni bo (Let us unite)”, to­wards the end of the song.

The writ­ing is pow­er­ful and stays with you long af­ter the song is done. A great sin­gle from Ms Dana. Lis­ten to Mkhonto on Dana’s page on soundcloud.com. Find the trans­la­tion of the lyrics at sim­phi­wedana.word­press.com

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