Some people make the world a better place – Bra Hugh was one of those people

Hugh Masekela 4/04/1939 – 23/01/2018 

What a legend! Brilliant musician, political activist, lover of life, and a mentsch of note.  This is really worth the 10 minutes to watch/listen to.   As South Africa and the world is saying ‘R.I.P. Bra Hugh’. 

Stimela 1994 

Stimela was also the name of the 1994 album of Masekela’s trumpet magic, compiled by Stewart Levine: 


There is a train that comes from Namibia and Malawi
there is a train that comes from Zambia and Zimbabwe,
There is a train that comes from Angola and Mozambique,
From Lesotho, from Botswana, from Swaziland,
From all the hinterland of Southern and Central Africa.
This train carries young and old, African men
Who are conscripted to come and work on contract
In the golden mineral mines of Johannesburg
And its surrounding metropolis, sixteen hours or more a day
For almost no pay.
Deep, deep, deep down in the belly of the earth
When they are digging and drilling that shiny mighty evasive stone,
Or when they dish that mish mesh mush food
into their iron plates with the iron shank.
Or when they sit in their stinking, funky, filthy,
Flea-ridden barracks and hostels.
They think about the loved ones they may never see again
Because they might have already been forcibly removed
From where they last left them
Or wantonly murdered in the dead of night
By roving, marauding gangs of no particular origin,
We are told.
They think about their lands, their herds
That were taken away from them
With a gun, bomb, and the teargas, the gatling and the cannon.
And when they hear that Choo-Choo train
A-chugging, and a pumping, and a smoking, and a pushing, a pumping, a crying and a steaming and a chugging and a whooo whooo!
They always cuss, and they curse the coal train,
The coal train that brought them to Johannesburg. Whooo whooo!

Sihamba ngamalahle
Sivel’ eTalakubayi
Sangilahla kwaGuqa
Bathi sizoba amalahle.

Sidl’ inyol’ enkomponi.

Sihleli njengezinja, siyelele mame
Emikodini, babe

Sikhalel’ izihlobo zethu
(Masibuyele le! eTalakubayi)
Sikhalel’ izingane zethu wololo!
(Masibuyele le! eTalakubayi)
Sikhalel’ abazali bethu!
(Masibuyele le! eTalakubayi)
Sikhalel’ abafazi bethu, sithi
Yelele yelele yelele yelele yelele
(Masibuyele le! eTalakubayi)

Sihamba ngamalahle,
Sivel’ eTalakubayi.

Helele bathi Stimela mawo
Sihamba ngamalahle,
Sivel’ eTalakubayi.

Sihamba ngamalahle,
Sivel’ eTalakubayi.


Zapiro’s cartoon published in The Daily Maverick Jan 24 2018



Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *