A fabulous track from Flashes. A track of hope and beauty.
Another off the fabulous Lifemask album. A fabulous track that Roy used to give a great intro to when performed live – abhorring apartheid.
We headed off for a long drive to a nature reserve on the coast. Beautiful dunes of white sand, warm seas, whale bones on the beach, wildlife all around. Idyllic.
You don’t expect to find penguins in South Africa, but there is a colony living there.
Big storms were rolling in as we walked along the beach
At the cape there were baboons and cliffs. The huge seas piled in. One could image how scary and dangerous that would have been in those old wooden schooners.
There is something really special about seeing animals in the wild. It is totally different to seeing them at the zoo. They give you a thrill.
Africa is superb.
We stayed in this delightful house on a nature reserve in South Africa. Every morning we’d sit outside for breakfast and throw crumbs for the birds. The most amazing array of colourful birds would come to visit.
Roy Harper has produced a wealth of meaningful protest song and songs of social comment. This one was produced in the 1970s when South Africa was practicing the evil abhorrent apartheid.
Roy used to do a great spoken introduction to this song that said it all.
Better to use soft words than a fist.
Fortunately apartheid has gone. The trouble is that in its place we have massive corruption and the people are no better off.
It is great to get a beautiful song full of poetry and meaning.
South Africa – Roy Harper
Once I was another’s lover
Now I am my own
Trying to call myself a brother
Living here alone
Maybe if you came to see me
Wishing I wasn’t so blind
Sitting here thinking to be free
Maybe we’d all change our mind
She is kind and beautiful
I am young and strong
We have never met each other
But it can’t be long
Oft’ I have slept by her window
Often I whisper her name
And wonder that words in the wind blow
Happy that hers are the same
Steven Biko was a charismatic speaker who gained prominence as a student leader in the 1960s. He wanted equality for the black people of South Africa and spoke against the Apartheid regime that made blacks second-class citizens and severely restricted their rights.
Steven set up the Black Consciousness Movement in the 1970s and continued to speak out against the regime despite threats on his life.
That is bravery!
Because of the strength of his words and personality he was banned. No one was permitted to reproduce his speeches.
In 1977 he was apprehended at a roadblock and arrested. He was then taken to a police cell and tortured and beaten for 22 hours by five police officers until he passed into a coma. No medical attention was forthcoming and he died of a brain haemorrhage caused by the severity of the beatings.
The government released an absurd statement claiming that he had died of a hunger strike. None of the five police thugs who murdered him were brought to justice.
Steven Biko is a hero of mine because of his bravery at speaking out against injustice in the face of death threats. He knew what was likely to be the consequences and still he spoke out. He did not use violence or urge others. He sought equality and freedom.
I wish I had his strength and qualities.
A number of great songs were written to commemorate his life and highlight his murder. One of these was Biko by Peter Gabriel and another was the Biko Drums by Christie Moore. They both send chills through me!
When you cross the road from the beauty and lavish housing of Stellenbosch you find the Townships where the poor blacks live – shanty towns of corrugated iron. There is huge overcrowding, poverty, violence and deprivation.
These are the toilets for the whole Township. They empty via a pipe straight out into the ocean. Millions of gallons of raw untreated sewage forms a huge brown slick along the coast.
These are some of the friendly denizens of the township.
This is the white area of Stellenbosch.
The inequality and racism needs addressing!!