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Makubenjalo should be part of the National Anthem, says Thandiswa

2017-09-30 02:26
Pic: Thandiswa Mazwai Instagram Page

Songbird Thandizwa Mazwai has yet again expressed her unhappiness with the national anthem. The Zabalaza singer was addressing a throng of revelers when she said that Makubenjalo should be part of the national anthem. Makubenjalo is the outro of the original Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika anthem written by late composer, Enoch Sontonga. The song was, until recently, the national anthem of a number of African states. Thandiswa was at the tail-end of her performance last night at the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival in Sandton, Johanneburg when she made the remarks.

“Makubenjalo must be part of the national anthem,” she said when I cornered her for comment. “Because it must be so! Makubenjalo means ‘let it be so’. Let freedom reign! I believe it still isn’t so. We still need the power of those words.”

Speaking to this reporter a few years ago Thandiswa mentioned that she had qualms with the current national anthem which accommodates Die Stem van Suid-Afrika [Die Stem van Suid-Afrika was the national anthem of South Africa from 1957 to 1994] and Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika because the two songs represent two different ideologies.

“My issue was that it’s antithetical having the two of them together in one anthem,” she had said at the time. “It’s antithetical having to sing Nkosi Sikelela and then move on to Die Stem. And so I felt that the two could not coexist.

“I grew up in the 80’s and singing Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika, the song represented the struggle for our freedom as the oppressed people of this country. We would sing Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika to represent that struggle and to represent our hopes that one day we will be free. And as a young person Die Stem represented the nationalism of those who oppressed us. That’s what Die Stem represented; it represented that nationalism- the nationalism of apartheid was represented by that song.

So I felt that I couldn’t move from singing Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika and then move so effortlessly into singing Die Stem. It was not effortless for me as a South African who grew up in the 70’s and in the 80’s