Friday, October 19, 2007

Cry yet again the beloved country!

If you're a reggae music fan, you will already know the name of Lucky Dube (pronounced DOO-beh). If you're not, let me explain that this is a South African reggae musician whose name has often been mentioned in the same breath as Bob Marley. See here for a sample of his music.

Last night he was murdered in Johannesburg.

Was he murdered by someone with a score to settle? Was he targetted by someone with an axe to grind? Was it a political thing? Was it motivated by the same sort of factors as Lennon's murder?

No, this icon was shot dead by three would be hijackers as he was dropping off his children in one of the southern suburbs of the city. He was younger than I am, and his children - who witnessed the incident - were roughly the same ages as mine. Somehow the fact that the attack was impersonal makes it even worse, although I would be hard pressed to explain why.

When I heard the news report on the radio, I groaned in wordless anguish from deep in my gut. And my grief was for more than just the loss of a great musician, an icon and a human being. I wish I could put into words the emotions that are swirling in my innards right now.

I so desperately want to be proved wrong about South Africa. I so long for the reasons we left to be be proved groundless.

But things like this keep happening.

And the beloved country keeps crying.

So much so, that Anne Paton the widow of Alan Paton (author of Cry, the Beloved Country) has chosen to leave, holding out no hope for the future of a country so desperately in need of hope.

Tomorrow the South African rugby team faces England in the final of the world cup tournament taking place in France. It will be more than just my love of the game and my abiding loyalty to the 'boks that will see me longing with every fibre of my being for a South African victory.

I apologise if I'm being a bit obscure and somewhat inarticulate. Forgive me if I resort to cheesiness for a moment and thank you for being there for me to unload my incoherent jumble of thoughts on today. I promise to be in better form soon!

Nkosi, sikelel' iAfrika;
Malupakam'upondo lwayo;
Yiva imitandazo yetu


Anonymous said...

Karyn, I sense the echo for me in your sense of loss at Lucky Dube's death. But I am luckier that we could wake my friend properly in his own home with his family and children at the coffin and his own community validating his worth and his loss. It was a normal Irish country wake which does not happen in the towns.
For you, so far from your beloved country, the lack of touch of "people with skin on" from your deeper connections, swirls your feelings all around.
Our feelings are what drive us, for better or worse, and if they cannot get the feedback that validates them -as we here got from talking and touching and yes laughing at my friends escapades- then one's actions become choked. Our minds and our hearts need feedback from others if we are to act. There are deep friends of yours who feel for you. You cannot now touch those friends of skin but you can talk and listen to them. That too is feedback to the senses; a feedback that is more real than this conceptual feedback that I am passing on; but that is all I can give in this medium. Listen and talk but savor the listening. And the action as you move on.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the empathy, Finnegas. If I'm not mistaken, this is your first comment on my blog. Pity it had to be under such tragic circumstances, but consider yourself warmly welcomed just the same.