kagablog

January 29, 2018

Luzuko Elvis Bekwa – Goodbye Blues for Bra’ Hugh

Filed under: luzuko elvis bekwa — ABRAXAS @ 11:34 am

UMbizo uthi ulikhalisile ixilongo Masekela.
UTodd Matshikiza uthi hamba kahle bra Hugh.
Abomngqungqo bathi uzusibulisele ke.
UProf CT Msimang uthi iAfrika ithi helethu wena uyintsizwa. Uyibekile induku ebandla
How deep is this pain
Is the sun really set? DUDU? untyilontyilo?
I glanced at Barbara Masekela popped out big eyes and her tears teared my heart like a double edged dagger .
Kufa luphi ulwamvila lakho
But bra Hugh left us with HOPE of joy . PHOLA
Neither Marsalis nor Armstrong, Gillespie nor Shepp can surpass
But equalise the timbre and perfection of bra Hugh
Cry my beloved country
This is no poem nor tribute nor ode nor epitaph nor homage nor lament
But a howl from the wilderness.
An ancestral shrill , a spiritual moaning moaning the fall of this baobab tree
Will the birds build their nests ?
Walil’umzi akwatyiwa madoda
In this hour of the people Kagiso Lediga has managed to console us with trumpets of humongous laughter
Taking us down the memory lane
We laughed and cheered and sung and danced and joked and lived.
Kufa luphi uloyiso lwakho
UNduduzo Makhathini uthi malikhal’icilongo mayihambe levangeli
At night when I look at the galaxy the stars twinkling . The cosmos in it’s majestic splendour I will surely spot you bra hugh
And the saints will come marching

August 7, 2017

HOSTING THE GHOSTS – THE AUTOPSY OF SOUTH AFRICAN JAZZ by Luzuko Elvis Bekwa

Filed under: Jonathan Eato,luzuko elvis bekwa — ABRAXAS @ 7:51 pm

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Confessions of a fanatic

When I met grandmaster Aryan Kaganof at Tete Mbambisa’s performance in Khayelitsha he looked so pale and tired someone overworked, worn out and bit ill health. It was during an interval and as I went over to greet Him and Doc Jonathan Eato in my slanging ‘mother tongue’ isixhosa he greeted back in his tsotsi slang and immediately said “HEY MAN WE ARE GETTING OLD” then we teased each other and there was this item I was wearing which he admired of which I failed to grab the opportunity of souvenirs exchange moment of which up to this moment I beat myself up with not grabbing that golden opportunity. We went on chatting and I was telling him what Tete was saying to me when I went to greet him that he was getting old and there was no escaping that. Then grandmaster told me of Tete’s performance at the rainbow in Pinetown how jovial and fun it was he said the audience was even dancing to some of Tete’s tunes. Then he came back to Tete’s comments about getting old. He mentioned the untimely passing of Ray Phiri and, notably, the passing of legendary jazz icon Dr. Johnny Mekoa. What disturbed me was the fact that these incidents happened during the tour to promote Tete Mbambisa’s latest jazz offering ‘one for Asa’. He said Tete was dancing and saying he is next in the line. It’s like he was welcoming and embracing death. Then Kaganof, witnessing all these events unfolding, said it feels like they are ‘HOSTING THE GHOSTS’.

THE AUTOPSY

Attending Tete Mbambisa’s concert is one of the highlights of this year’s calendar in my life. Tete Mbambisa’s sound is timeless.
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I think the first time I heard of Tete Mbambisa’s sound long before I know the MAN I was in my mother’s womb. I think it was about few hours after zygote (conception) and that was the sound of UMSENGE and that’s how powerful the sound of Tete is and then in primary school and in those days it was called sub standard A came this soothing haunting sound ‘ZUKILE’ and when that song is playing on the radio you were rest assured that your parents are coming home from work. It (ZUKILE) had that healing effect. Then there were 1976 uprising which I can confess that that though I was still young and in primary school the impact of the riots was too severe to ignore judging from the reaction of our parents towards the unrest. In the midst of all that with Abdullah Ibrahim ‘s

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MANENBERG being the hit song then Mbambisa kept us sober with his offering which was a tribute to late piano guru CHRIS MCGREGOR and that is the song STAY COOL . In the song you find all generations of South African jazz in one song , past present and even future. Funny enough you also find all music genres in one song.

Then as time was progressing you kind of being enticed by other sounds. During the late 80’s and early 90’s there was an emergence of choral music coupled with African pop culture which was nicknamed bubblegum music. The likes of the late Brenda Fassie and choral music composer Mzilikazi Khumalo were household names. They kept us mesmerised during those days – it was a phenomenon then. But still then South African jazz music refused to die thanks thanks to the likes of the late Duke Ngcukana (Christopher Columbus Ngcukana’s son) for fusing three elements of music: choral music, jazz music and marimba – to introduce CHORIMBA. I should confess though that at some instances jazz music was treated like a ‘cheap whore’ which forced those who revere jazz music to move away from the spotlight in protest of this illicit act. However artists like

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Hotep Idris Galeta were vocal about this abuse. At the jazzathon which was a four day festival held at the V & A WATERFRONT Hotep will always after his performance make people aware of the value of jazz music and have a stern warning to those artists who use the name jazz in vain.

But the fact that jazz music was dying was evident especially with the rumours of the death of Tete Mbambisa and also horrible things that were happening to the families of jazz musicians. The McCoy Mrubatas, the Ngcukanas, and, of course, Tete Mbambisa, just to name few. The years 1996 to 2007 were the years of plenty in the life of South African jazz. As much as kwaito and hip hop were taking over, the sounds of Sibongile Khumalo, Moses Molelekwa, the resurrection of legendary saxophonist, maestro Mankunku Ngozi, just to mention a few were too powerful to ignore. Coupled with that was the government’s choice in appointment of Mr Pallo Jordan as the minister of arts and culture and indeed he did deliver. He made it possible for jazz music to shine by giving artists space to freely express themselves.

Provincial things were happening. Nomaindiya Mfeketho brought us NORTH SEA JAZZ which is now known as CAPE TOWN INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL which is now approaching its coming of age. We’ve seen art meets sound meets poetry through the sterling work of

kgafela oa magogodi, Ernest Mothle and Msa Xokelelo. We’ve seen a retrospective of the late Dumile Feni. Late Cups ‘n Saucers Nkanuka through the brainchild of Fitzroy Ngcukana was regrouping and these were artists who were long forgotten now re emerging to the jazz scene. Through all this then followed the passing of jazz artists in droves Ezra, Robbie, Duke and others. But the one that hit me hardest was the passing of Winston Mankunku Ngozi. I mean he was a giant, one of the most noticeable figures in the SA jazz scene. Guys like Ezra Ngcukana were even quoted saying they don’t see the reason to live anymore. To them it was like jazz has died. And of course for jazz lovers it was indeed the end of the world.

However the case of the passing of Ezra Ngcukana was admittedly the unearthing of new talents on the jazz scene.

Lefifi Tladi was there to render a poem dedicated to Ezra, hence they were the part of the notorious DASHIKI. My friend Sakhiwo Noboza, a sterling trumpeter now turned guitarist, was there but it was a rendition of Tete Mbambisa’s DEMBESE which was led by renowned trumpeter Feya Faku that stole the show. Tete was of course was on piano while Lefifi by his side kept nodding, it was a spellbinding performance. Bra’ Barney Rachabane tapping on Mankunku’s yakhalinkomo – I mean Ezra’s send off was quite hilarious. In fact it gave us jazz lovers that hope that jazz is still alive. Bra’ Roy’s little giants, his son with his friends mesmerised us – it’s like Mongezi Feza was brought back to life – full circle.

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Born too late, gone too soon is the lamentable case of Zimasile Ngqawana. Zim was not just a musician but a philosopher and a cultural activist. He was the voice of conscience. A voice of the voiceless. As we are all aware of the state of jazz neglect by the powers that be. To the system, theoretically, jazz is the most revered genre that needs to be nurtured, but practically that is not the case. We often heard of the cases of jazz musicians dying as paupers due to lack of support from the government. I even read an article headlined ‘THE ART OF DYING POOR’ and Mankunku being a household name was on that list. And that was what made Zim angry. In the meantime you will have government sponsored hip hop concerts advertised as “jazz concerts” and you won’t see even a single jazz artist in the line up. This was a masochistic abuse of jazz.

When Zim’s institute for jazz was vandalised there was no government assistance to rebuild the institution. To Zim Ngqawana in confession has succumbed to the fact that for him it’s no longer about entertainment but inner attainment. To him it was not about pleasing the audience but for his personal spiritual healing. He even said “the audience is free to do whatever they want to do” – which in jazz that is not the norm. The passing of Zim Ngqawana was a wake up call for the authorities, they even pledged a trust in honour of Zim. That was too little too late judging from the fact that when his institute was vandalised no assistance came from government. It was one of those hypocritical stunts the system is famous for. Perhaps we should say Zim’s passing was a sacrificial offering to cleanse the ‘sound’.

The state of jazz neglect is in fact a world-wide case. The case in mind is of Wynton Marsalis with his traditional New Orleans jazz function. His lament on THE DEATH OF JAZZ, his trademark paints a picture of the ongoingpersecution of jazz, the tireless journey of Duke Ellington, the lonely life of Albert Ayler and many more of those jazz martyrs. Abdullah Ibrahim once said it’s like the sword is lifted above your head and you are summoned to go through anyway.

CONFESSIONS

The First time I was introduced to Aryan Kaganof was by a postal brochure that I received from him. To be quite precise it was by Lesego Rampolokeng through his book black heart.
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Lesego Rampolokeng is a subversive artist (dissident poet), a literary bomber. He also caught my attention through a television programme called ‘not quite a Friday night show’ that was aired in the early 90’s. The host of that show was a comical guy even the show itself was kind of a comedy show. It was satirical. Lesego in turn after meeting him in person at the concert held at Cape Town gardens introduced me to the sound guru Warrick Sonny in his house in Camp street. At that time I was still trapped between rock’n roll and choral music, classical literature and bit of poetry. Was also fascinated by alternative spiritual practices, though my Christian faith took centre stage. Taking music classes accidentally introduced me to the experimental jazz sound. Then I was majoring in bamboo flute. I can recall one moment during break my colleague and I, he was a guitarist, we were just chilling playing this tune and boy did we get carried away. It was then that I spontaneously improvised in sound. It was a full 45min of non stop experiment. Our teachers were so baffled asking us where we learned to play like that. That resulted in us passing exams without even writing them. It was then that I started to embark on a quest to find and understanding this sound. I went from Joan Jett in rock’n roll to Boy George, From Sibongile Khumalo to Mike Ngxokolo in choral music, From GF Handel to WA Mozart in classical music, From Sandile Dikeni to

Lesego Rampolokeng and Ingoapele Molingoane in poetry. From Christian indigenous worship to being fascinated by intlombe nemiguyo . And all this was in search of that sound that unique sound.

It wasn’t until I was captivated by the voice and sound of MBIZO JOHNNY DYANI that I finally realised that I have arrived.
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MBIZO was a point of departure in my quest. From from him (MBIZO) I began to understand the artistry of professor CT Msimang and Pitika Ntuli. MBIZO led me to the sound of the BLUE NOTES, of CHRIS MCGREGOR, DUDU PUKWANA, MONGEZI AND TEBOGO MOHOLO.

That was the beginning

FANATIC (GHOSTS AND FIGURES)

Elements of hope and honour

In the beginning was jazz and Jazz was with the sound and the sound was jazz.

Having witnessed the erosion of jazz sound it was slowly becoming evident that this sound needs to be rescued from the shackles of sound sinning genres. First was mbaqanga and maskandi that disguised themselves as “jazz”, then as slowly as that genre was dying came African pop, popularly known as bubblegum, that’s the Mahlathinis and Brenda Fassies. Then there was kwaito and house music – the Makendlas and Revolution. Throughout this process the Ray Phiris and the Tabanes were still soldiering on, attempting to keep the sound (jazz) alive. It was this genre – the hip hop – the one that is often referred to as the genre of the lost generation, that actually resulted in the re-emergence of jazz. To recall a few artists from this genre: Tumi of Tumi and the volume, Tuks senganga, Prokid, Proverb and others who were time and again paying tributes to jazz artists through their work. This genre also has an underground element where prima facie avant garde artists are showcasing their craft. That’s where names like SIMPHIWE DANA, MTHWAKAZI, TLOKWE SEHUME and others emerge. In the sound of these artists you can clearly capture true jazz in its most spiritual form.

Dreaming of BUGS GONGCO and GIDEON NXUMALO is what is happening when I listen to the work of NDUDUZO MAKHATHINI and KYLE SHEPHERD. These guys it seems are the rescuers of South African jazz music. Guys like HERBIE TSOAELI, AYANDA SIkadE, SHANE COOPER, KESIVAN NAIDOO, JONATHAN CROSSLEY are like warriors of this sound. Listening to THANDISWA MAZWAI’S BELEDE has further put my soul at ease saying finally the sound of jazz is indeed rescued. Black Coffee is also following suit in acknowledgement of the power of jazz.

Selfless and tireless work of the dedicated SAINT (DR JONATHAN EATO) has finally yielded results. The martyrdom of the GRANDMASTER is indeed not in vain. Amongst other places I know that host this sound the one that truly stands is JAZZ IN THE NATIVE YARDS PROJECT popularly known as KWA SEC. It has over the years serve as jazz sanctuary of highest degree right at the most humblest of all places. IN THE TOWNSHIP. Having witnessing all this unfolding and at play.

And after the 12/ 07/ 2017 Tete Mbambisa concert held at BERTHA HOUSE CINEMA in Khayelitsha I can confidently say

FINALLY THE FUTURE OF SOUTH AFRICAN JAZZ LOOKS EVEN BRIGHTER

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for more information about JISA’s south african jazz archiving project contact Dr. Jonathan Eato at jonathan.eato@york.ac.uk

May 11, 2014

african noise foundation

Filed under: luzuko elvis bekwa — ABRAXAS @ 10:30 pm

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January 28, 2014

luzuko elvis bekwa on an inconsolable memory

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grand master

the opening prayer in the documentary ‘ inconsolable memory’ when this old lady is summoning the higher being to give truth to the project, the plight of the eoan group is quite touching. the documentary soundtrack, the japanese pianist tomoko mulaiyama, gives the documentary a majestic and haunting elegance.

on the subject itself i should say i find the film to be quite enlightening . it kind of want to say we are all on the same page when it comes to prejudice. the visuals of the yesteryear district six, the children playing in the street, a jolly good drunk fellow who is teased by the bunch of kids in the street kind of set the film tone towards the path of truth . to console your memories you have to drown your self to alcohol..the struggles of the eoan group is a struggle that almost all of us in sa have experienced. the beauty though of the documentary is that it is not only highlighting the struggles of the eoan group as the coloured race but deeper it pins and pierces through the struggles of the arts in both past and present south africa. it is only through the arts that we can , or begin to understand the ways of a society.

the eoan group it seems were the force to be reckon with when it comes to opera music but because of a cruel system that deprived them of the free expression they were instead labelled as collaborators , a stigma that everyone is afraid to be associated with.it is unfortunate that the colour card has to go to extremes as to even create hatred amongst the community itself , perhaps the divide and rule system.

memory has no colour , as i contemplate on this idea i am reminded by the plight of the white people (perhaps very few) who were also caught in this race fracas . those who were deprived of free movement in their “own” country and by their own elected “government” . maybe it is because unknowingly they collaborated in voting for that oppressive and fascist rule. the inconsolable memory is telling us how to destroy arts entirely . arts is the reflection of a society and as such it evokes many feelings such as envy, pride , discipline etc and those are the qualities that shape society’s political expression.disdaining of the eoan group can be reminiscent of the nazi rule in germany . in order to survive in an evil idea one has to build clandestine of a token privilegded. of which those would be the oppressed.therefore i find it very hard to classify the eoan group contribution in shaping this country’s socio-politics nor towards the upliftment and advancement of the arts . were they collaborators (i don’t know) were they cultural activists ( i don’t know). whatever the case here is a tell tale of a heritage almost forgotten and erased from the archives of our cultural thoughts

memory is cost. perhaps this one area that we all fail to look at when we come to archiving . it was an alarming distress to learn that during the making of this documentary nfvf refused funding of this project with reasons that we can not understand . maybe it is because of what coloured people often lament and i can quote them clearly ,’ during the apartheid times we were not white enough to be classified as white people but now is the black rule and still we are not black enough to be classified as black people’. this is a sad and painful remark to think of . it is even more sad when you see it happening practically even in times of democratic rule.in 1996 during the acceptance of the first post-apartheid constitution mr tm mbeki on behalf of the anc made a powerful and oratory speech . in his speech he laid bear the hardships and struggles of the coloured race(the khoi and the san descendants) and how they were the first to suffer under colonial rule and ultimately lost their dignity . but now with this nfvf action it kind of inflicting on that wound.

memory is legacy – having been following the works of aryan kaganof from his previous projects it is clear that we are dealing with someone who is in state of hysteria , someone who is helplessly distressed by the erosion of arts in south africa , someone who is constantly and consistently banging on the doors of those who claim to be the custodians of arts but regrettably get no answer.his works are about preservation of legacies to reclaim our human dignity and to contribute an authentic, original and geniune gift to world cultures.

the photographic memories of ian bruce huntley on his recently launched book keeping times further emphasis of the importance of memory produces a perfect parallel and suitably vindicates the case of aryan kaganof.

as sometimes painful as the circumstances may be, memory heals. at times hidden, memory builds. controversial at points , it leads to healthy debates.whatever the case

memory is GOOD

December 20, 2013

a letter from luzuko

Filed under: luzuko elvis bekwa — ABRAXAS @ 2:09 pm

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December 12, 2013

unsung remembering for nelson “nelisile” rolihlahla mandela

Filed under: luzuko elvis bekwa,poetry — ABRAXAS @ 9:35 pm

i am remembering love
of a gigantic mother so coy and determined
a prophetic servant humming from deep,
deep in the belly of the child’s umbilicus
i am remembering the innocence
of a young tembu boy with big ,
big heavy laden daddy khaki shirts
stick fighting on his way to school
peeping through the gathering of the elders courts
amaqhing’enkwenkwe yomxhosa
the falling sound of a smoking pipe
the lost hope of the nation
i am remembering beauty of GOD , gods?
wondering and roaming the streets of johannesburg
searching for that precious gold
from deep within his conscience
sweet perfume of pondoland
that refreshed the matyrdom of the nation
umzamo omhle kaNOMZAMO
i am remembering warrick sonny and brandon jury
the menace to regime
exiled from their own skin
i am remembering the black heroes
of tete mbambisa, forward marching
their way to freedom
freedom , yes democratic emancipation of
no pigmentation, to free africa
omaqoma
osobukhwe
obiko
ohani
nkrumah,lumumba,samora machel
oh … ! africa my beginning , afIrca my ending
i am remembering bravery
of mankunku ngozi , abantwana base africa
from gugulethu to umgungundlovu
from seshego to sheshegu
ebhayi , emonti, esoweto
to so where to ?
from here
i am rembering the gore
gory , ghastly gruesome grotesque
of lesego rampolokeng pen
the heavyweight
the lightweight?
the son of man
ridiculed in the island of shame
guns, knives and pangas
as symbols of baptism
with puppets and puppet masters
dancing in lucifer’s tune
orgy of dickless sinners
i am rembering onomatopoeia
of lefifi tladi
with sounds of jets and planes
flying over mahlambandlopfu
the jovial jubilant madiba jive
sound of a free nation
of kaganof “uselessly”
asking blessings of a living god
i am remembering grace
of lord my god JEHOVAH
the love of the son CHRIST jesus
and the fellowship
of the holy spirit
abundantly blessing this nation
regardless
i am remembering HIM
the child of “unogeyiti”
shyly peeping through the bookshelves
in cavendish square
unaware of his monstrous tall physic
his giant presence
all he ever wanted
was to be a free simple man
even stuborn mvuyelwa mbeki
could not resist the aura of HIM
aahh…!! thabo , ziz’elihle
i am remembering LIFE
of “nelisile” rolihlahla mandela
yes ” unelisile” for unogeyiti was spot on
for the prophesy has been realised
urolihlahla usanelisile
from every corner of the world they bow ,
they cry , they contemplate
they testify,
without pretending they descend
to this corner of the earth to bid you farewell
like CHRIST jesus my saviour
entering jerusalem
a modern day messiah
i hear the pampering lullaby
of langalibalele dube
pixley of isaka seme
of lembede of sol plaatjie
of mahabane , bathini xuma, moroka
of nkosi luthuli and or thambo
children of marikana
and andries tatane
for you nelisile
is, was , shall be
the man of peace
they hear you , your innocent cry
they say
UMZAMO OMHLE UWUZAMILE
UKHOLO ULUGCINILE
NOGQATSO ULUFEZILE
NGOKU ULINDELWE SISITHSABA SOLOYISO
in your honour the child john donne has scorned death
death thou art slave to chance
kings and desparate man soon die but
rest of their bones and souls delivery
AAAHHH!!! DALIBHUNGA
AAAHHH!!! DALIBHUNGA
AAAHHH!!! DALIBHUNGA

November 19, 2013

Filed under: luzuko elvis bekwa — ABRAXAS @ 10:38 am

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November 18, 2013

Filed under: luzuko elvis bekwa — ABRAXAS @ 6:42 pm

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June 26, 2013

lurking

Filed under: luzuko elvis bekwa,poetry — ABRAXAS @ 2:46 pm

there , lurking,
in the zoo of ostriches,
meeting of gorillas & baboons
a choir of frogs & toads
singing
freeedoomm songs

a ceremony for the slaughter of vultures
but idi amin was not a cannibal
cause mabutu was a gentleman
a toyi-toyi of angry clowns
see a mime licking a dildo
the theme song at the background beating
“free Barabbas,crucify Jesus”
god of peace succumbing to
hymns chanted by mass idiots
analysts and arnachists
professors and provocateurs
pimps and prostitutes
pervets and pedophiles
see the judicial compromise.
artificial rule of law

church has become political brothel
and sermons conducted by political pervets
no room for morality
only ginseng rules the world
the rape of virgin continent
yet our mothers see the dime
verses of our democratic order
khawuleth’umshini wam,
wen’uyandibambezela.
there lurking
there lurking
there lurking

December 20, 2012

a letter from luzuko

Filed under: luzuko elvis bekwa,poetry,politics — ABRAXAS @ 10:24 pm

grand master

where are instigators of peace?, the poets are dead dead dead in this country of ours and politicians are doing doggystyle at broad daylight , and you guys are just chilling as if everything is okay . death of arts , death of cultu—fuck man i hate the word culture for it is used as ticket to corruption now.

grand master i write this with the spirit of zim ngqawana haunting me , tormenting me about the case in marikana , the slaughter of the innocent , the wreched of the earth..
when i met zim i 2003 i was so upbeat thinking that i know the man and his music so as i was talking to him he almost reiterated what mongezi feza said in uk when he was admitted to hospital which led to him being electrotuded which was disguised as some kind of therapy and ultimately led to his death. he said to the personnel there and i quote him ‘you ain’t gonna know me cause you think you know me’
that was exactly what zim said to me but philosophycally. he said if i want to know and understand him i have to start from the beginning i.e his first notable album , san song

admitting though that i only bought san song , his first notable album 3 months before his passing and even then i did not take much interest in it as i was still blown away by the one you sent me , zimology live in bird’s eye switzerland

then 3 months before the marikana massacre i found my self very much in love with his 1st album san song and 2 songs in particular , ode and migrant workers .

but now i will talk of the song , migrant workers because there are 2 versions of the same song by

grandmaster zim himself., the san song version and vadzimu version. in vadzimu it is only one version , jovial non prophetic , just an easylistening version.
in san song it is this long solemn ‘ nail in the heart ‘ version .telling the story of a migrant worker at home , on a train to the mines leaving his family behind and at the mines with harsh working conditions at the mines . infact it accounts to the bleak testimonial of a migrant worker .

to me it seems as if brother zim has been fighting this battle for the redress of the conditions of migrant workers long before num and amcu and other unions that claim to be on the side of the migrant workers .

now grand master we and the whole world saw what happened in marikana , we and the whole world saw what culture has be demonised for the weak though it is kind of angelic for the powerful.though i wouldn’t like to enter into politics of a status quo for the fear of being ‘contaminated ‘ by this ill discipline and counter-revolutionary contagion we see ghosts and figures ascending onto positions of extreme power while we the masses are aplauding in loud cheers and roars . the question i then ask is what has become of this beloved country . this country of lesego rampolokeng , of lefifi tladi, of koos kombuis and other independant dissidant think tanks .

like zim ngqawana , may god rest his soul , i weep for the migrant workers who died mercilessly in marikana

i will sign out with this old xhosa saying ,, nangona inyoka ifile nje kodwa ithambo layo limhlaba umntu afe

i am tempted to say yingoma yabathwa.

September 17, 2012

TSHAWE , VUNDLA

Filed under: luzuko elvis bekwa,music,poetry — ABRAXAS @ 3:41 am

FOR BRA WINSTON MANKUNKU NGOZI & TETE MBAMBISA

I HEAR THE WIND BLOWS
BLOWS LIKE A BELLOWING BULL
I HEAR THE TAPPING SOUNDS
TAP TAPPING ON THE IVORY HORNS
I HEAR THE VOICE OF DAVASHE
I SEE THE PORTRAIT OF “MRA”
GOD I’M AM TOSSING
TWISTING AND TURNING
TORMENTED BY TREMORS
TREMORS OF THESE TROUBLING SOUNDS
I HEAR WHIMS AND MOANS
CRIES OF WOMAN
VOICES OF MEN
STILL I’M TOSSING
IN HALLUCINOGENIC TRANCE
THEN THIS LOAD ROAR

TSHAWE!!!!!

NOW I’M SWEATING HOT
A NIGHTMARE OF WET DREAM
A BULL BELLOWING
WHISTLES BLOWING
SOUNDS TAPPING
THEN IN A DARK REAR CORNER
THIS PORTRAIT , A MOVING PICTURE
APPROACHING IN HAUNTING GHASTLY FORM
A WHIRLWIND OF WHISTLES
SOUND OF FALLING DRY WHITE BONES
THEN IT APPEARS
THIS HEALING ENTITY
A GOD IN HIS OWN LEAGUE

UTETE MBAMBISA
HAVE YOU FOUND THE LINES
DID YOU SHOUT HIS PRAISES
DID YOU TELL YOUR MOTHER
OF THIS MAJESTIC SON OF SOUND
HUMBLE TETE , TETE MBAMBISA
INENE MADODA LENDODA NGUMSENGE
UNCUTHU LOMLONJI LWASEMAVUNDLENI
POLLINATION OF SOUND
THAT GERMINATED SCANDINAVIAN LAND
AND SPROUTED A “JOHNNY DYANI” SEEDLING
YET A HOST SO COY AND CONTAINED
A GOD OF THE JAZZ SCENE
NOT THE GORE IN NYANGA EAST
CAN PUT DOWN THE BURNING FIRE
WALIL’UMZI AKWATYIWA

BUT TETE AND MANKUNKU
PROVED TO DEFY THE TORRENTS
OF THOSE/THESE TROUBLING TIMES
SURVIVING HUMILIATION AND HORRID
SPITES OF DISDAIN PAST TIME
TSHAWE AND TETE
KEPT US MESMERIZED
THESE GIANT SONS OF AZANIA
EVEN WHEN JOHNNY DYANI LAMENTS
WILL CONTEMPLATE ON TETE’S TEACHINGS

YAKHAL’INKOMO ,EMAVUNDLENI

May 24, 2012

a letter from luzuko

Filed under: luzuko elvis bekwa — ABRAXAS @ 8:17 pm

grand master

last week tuesday i was in town and i happenned to go to african music store . after browsing i happenned to bump against tete mbambisa latest release -black heroes , a solo album.. whaaao!!! the sound , the texture , the every thing in the album is quite mersmering . i mean the information on the album sleeve the rare photos with the late bra duku and chris mcgregor really bring back true golden era of sa jazz scene memories.

well i know bra tete mbambisa just a week before he launched his album i was at his place and we were just chatting, man the man is quite a master . as i was approuching the gate i had this sound of piano it almost sounded like a classical sound , i mean beethoven kind of a classical sound . when i entered the house sis mavuy his wife wecomed me with that always warm and beautiful smile and said ” are you jonathan’s guy ” . i did not know what she meant by that so idid not answer , i just smiled back at her .she just led to to the other room where the master himself was busy playing the music . so it dawned to me that the sound i was hearing from outside was tete playing his music . he greeted me with a smile and told that he was preparing for the launch of the album, singing praises of jonathan for being a kind guy. well that was a week before the album launch.
now just last week i bought the cd at african music and i went to him so that he can bless it with an autograph , boy i had a ball cause the master was present at his house and also he was in a good mood . yuo know artists sometimes can be like monstres especially if you catch them at the middle of their craft, but with tete he is always a ‘staying cool ‘ kind of an artist lucky me . so he shared some of his memories with the late & now living legends of sa jazz talking about how he used to tease bra dollar ( abdullah ibrahim ) his relationship with bra duku and the ‘intlupheko’ gang and lot of other interesting staff.. then he mentioned JOHNNY without saying a word after mentioning HIS name he went to his bedroom and brought a thick book about mbizo’s life . and then played african bass by johnny dyani. boy maan i cannot talk, someone has to just listen to the music to imagine how i feel now.

but TETE , his music , is classical — is a xhosa classical jazz music . you listen to dembese and it takes you to that era of imiguyo nentlombe , then you listen to umsenge still it takes you further back to the era of s.e.k mqhayi and govan mbeki in their youth . without any offence or prejudice this TETE MBAMBISA guy should be bestowed the father of XHOSA CLASSICAL JAZZ.

from disciple
luzuko

March 31, 2012

a message from elvis luzuko bekwa

May 27, 2009

luzuko elvis bekwa

Filed under: luzuko elvis bekwa — ABRAXAS @ 8:40 pm

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expression three

Filed under: luzuko elvis bekwa — ABRAXAS @ 8:25 pm

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luzuko and his men

Filed under: luzuko elvis bekwa,photography — ABRAXAS @ 8:21 pm

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October 12, 2008

luzuko elvis bekwa

Filed under: kagaportraits,luzuko elvis bekwa — ABRAXAS @ 3:03 pm

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October 10, 2008

luzuko and his men

Filed under: kagaportraits,luzuko elvis bekwa — ABRAXAS @ 10:35 pm

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June 15, 2008

a letter from luzuko

Filed under: luzuko elvis bekwa — ABRAXAS @ 7:16 pm

TO THE ONE I USED & ABUSED , TO THE ONE I LIED TO & GOT AWAY WITH IT , TO THE ONE WHO ALMOST GAVE ME NOT ONLY A KINGLY CROWN BUT A GODLY STATUS . THE UNMEASURABLE GENIUS OF S/AFRICAN SON . THIS ONE IS INSPIRED BY THE LONELINESS IN TURMOIL , NECROPHILIA, XENOPHOBIA & ALL OTHER THINGS THAT FEEL (GOOD? … IN MOMENTS OF PLEASURE?) . NOW I CONTEMPLATE ON —–

THE GRANDMASTER

A MONTH AGO I RECEIVED A CALL FROM MY SISTER -IN – LAW TELLING ME ABOUT THE PASSING AWAY OF MY BROTHER .A MAN WHO I REFERRED TO AS A SAINT BECAUSE OF HIS CAPTIVATING PRESENCE . TO HEED THE CALL I HAD TO GO & PAY MY LAST RESPECTS TO MY BELOVED BROTHER . MY BROTHER HAD A HUGE FAMILY BESIDES BROTHERS & SISTERS & IN-LAWS , HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY IS COMPOSED OF SEVEN CHILDREN & SIX GRANDCHILDREN , THEY WERE A BUSY COUPLE INDEED .HE SETTLED HIMSELF & HIS FAMILY IN THE HARD CORE RURAL AREA CALLED UGATYANE IN TRANSKEI , EASTERN CAPE PROVINCE OF S/ AFRICA . WHAT A CAPTIVATING LANDSCAPE & SCENERY . A LAND WITH ITS HYMEN FULLY INTACT . UNDISTURBED NATURAL BEAUTY. A LAND OF XHOSA UNCESTORS . A PLACE OF PILGRIMAGE FOR ANYONE WHO CLAIMS TO BE A XHOSA. THAT IS WHERE I SAW THIS SO CALLED AFRICAN CONCEPT OF “UBUNTU” (HUMANITY ) IN PRACTICE , PEOPLE SO SO FULL OF UNPRETENDING LOVE & COMPASSION ..HAVING LAST SAW MY BROTHER”S CHILDREN WHILE THEY WERE JUST LESS THAN 2 YRS OLD , & TO SEE THEM SO GROWN INTO FULLY GROWN MEN & WOMEN MADE ME SHED TEARS OF LONGING & BAFFLEMENT .
MY BROTHER”S SERVICE WAS A MOVING ONE , UIMPHS SO HEIGHTENED WITH SPIRITUALITY , I COULD NOT CONTAIN MYSELF I JUST LET IT GO .. I SOBBED == I SOBBED === I== SOBBED FOR KNOWING THAT IT IS THE LAST TIME I”LL BE SEEING MY BROTHER ,MY GRANDMOTHER FUNEKA ( AK LAST OF THE MOHICANS) SOOTHED ME BUT WAS FAILING IN HER ATTEMPTS . THE ONLY THING THAT SOOTHED E WAS TO GO TO THE COFFIN & LOOKED AT MY BROTHERS FACE FOR THE LAST TIME . I COULD NOT HELP MY SELF BUT GAVE HIM A LAST LONG PARTING KISS ON HIS ICY COLD FOREHEAD AFTER I CARESSED HIS FROZEN FACE . NOT THAT I”M NECROPHILIC OR SOMETHING BUT GODDAMMIT THAT WAS MY BROTHER == MY BLOOD BROTHER . THEN I FELT REALLY GOOD KNOWING THAT I EXPRESSED MY FINAL GOODBYES TO HIM .
THE WAY TO UGATYANE WAS NOT A SMOOTH ONE THOUGH . HAVING KNOCKED THE KUDU IN THE DEAD OF THE NIGHT IN THOSE CURSED ROADS OF GRAAF REINET WHICH BROUGHT OUR SOURCE OF TRANSPORTATION INTO SUDDEN HALT & 90MIN DELAY WAS SUCH A FRUSTRATING EXPERIENCE . BUT THANKS WE DID NOT TURN A MEDIA STATISTICS AS VICTIMS OF SA DEATH ROADS BUT THE BOOD MARSH TRAIL LEFT BUY THE KUDU WAS A GORE THAT ONLY FILM MAKERS COULD USE AS “BOOSTER”UIMPHS

HAVING MENTIONED MY UHHHMM SO BEAUTIFUL NIECES & HANDSOME NEPHEWS & THE MOST REMARKABLE HOSPITALITY WE RECEIVED THERE , I HAD TO COME BACK TO MY BEAUTIFUL CAPE TOWN.THE WELCOMING IN CAPE TOWN WAS (SHALL I SAY ) NOT A PLEASANT ONE . THE AWAKENING OF THIS SO CALLED XENOPHOBIA WAS QUITE A SCARE .
BUT I HAVE TO CONFESS THAT BEING A SOUTH AFRICAN BORN & RAISED IN CAPE TOWN BORN OF SOUTH AFRICAN WOMEN WITH UMBILICUS & ALL DEFINING THE S.A IDENTITY , I AS EQUALLY NOT SURPRISED BY THE REACTION OF THESE CHILDREN OF THE LAND .

FOR INSTANCE IF YOU TUNE TO OUR MEDIA WHETHER IS A RADIO STATION OR TELEVISION YOU WILL OFTEN HEAR HARROWING STORIES OF POVERTY & EXTREME VIOLENCE & WITHOUT BEING HYPOCRITICAL ABOUT THE WHOLE SITUATION YOU WILL HEAR ESPECIALLY ON CRIME THAT MOST PEOPLE THAT ARE HILIGHTED ARE OUR BROTHERS FROM ABROAD ( OUR DUBBED ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS) AFRICANS .AND MOSUIMPHS T OF ALL THEY ARE CONTRIBUTING IN THE SO CALLED MORAL DECAYING CAMPAIGN .HOW MANY TIMES HAVE WE HEARD OF MOTHERS CRYING FOR THEIR DAUGHTERS WHO HAVE BEEN WHISKED AWAY BUY THESE PEOPLE ONLY TO FALL VICTIMS OF DRUG ADDICTION & PROSTITUTION , HARROWING ESCALATION OF MUTI MURDERS IN THESE MODERN TIMES .CALL ME AN IGNORANT FUCK BUT GOD I LOVE THIS COUNTRY OF MY MOTHER.

AS BITTER AS I AM WITH THIS TROUBLING TRN OF EVENTS STILL MY PIGMENTATION IS BLACK OR SHALL I SAY EBONY .BUT GOD DOES THAT MEAN I HAVE TO CONDON CRIME POVERTY & LAWLESSNESS IN THIS COUNTRY JUST TO BUY “FACE” ?

INSPITE OF MY ANGER AT BOTH THE INVASION OF MY COUNTRY BY OUR NEIGHBOURS & THE IGNORANT & DENIAL OF OUR FOLKS WE PUT IN POWER T SAFEGUARD OUR LIVES THERE IS A BIT OF HUMILIATING DISAPPOINTMENT AT THE TIMING OF THESE INCIDENTS .AT A WEEK & MONTH WHERE OUR PEOPLE WERE SUPPOSED TO BE CELEBRATING FREEDOM FROM THE EUROPEAN OPPRESSION A TIME WHEN WE WERE SUPPOSED T LOOK BACK AT STRIDES & TRIUMPHS MADE BY THIS CONTINENT IN ERADICATING SHAMES CAUSED BY WEST .
INSTEAD THE VINDICATION WAS THERE THAT AFRICA IS A BEASTLY CONTINENT WHICH ACCORDING TO THAT SACKED JOURNALIST BULLOCK STILL NEEDS THE ASSISTANCE OF EUROPE & THE WEST .IN MY DREAMS & PRAYERS I ALWAYS LAMENT THE TIME WHEN AFRICA WILL TAKE BLAME FOR ITS OWN ACTIONS & START DEALING WITH ISSUES AT HAND WITHOUT POINTING FINGERS AT WEST.
HERE IS A CONTINENT WHICH CLAIMS TO BE FREE AT LAST BUT FAILS TO TAKE BLAME FOR ITS OWN FAILURES .SOMETIMES I USED TO WONDER IN SHAME THAT THE POET INGOAPELE MOLINGOANE WILL STILL UTTER SAME PHRASES I QUOTE ” AFRICA MY BEGINNING , AFRICA MY ENDING ” UNQUOTE IF HE SEES AFRICA TODAY . MAY GOD REST HIS SOUL .

THE MOST THWARTING THING ABOUT AFRICANS TODAY IS TO CONSPIRE AGAIST THOSE WHO PUT AFRICA’S INTERESTS AT HEART & ARE INDEED MAKING VISIBLE STRIDES IN ACTION & NOT IN WORDS . LATELY WE ARE WITNESSING THE CAMPAIGN TO DISREGARD THE WORK DONE BY OUR PRESIDENT IN PUTTING AFRICA ON THE WORLD MAP & STRIVING TO SHOW AFRICA’S “GOOD” SIDE
BY SETTING PRESIDENCE IN THIS COUNTRY BUT OUR OLD TRADITIONAL BROTHERS LIKE ITS ALWAYS A CASE ABOUT US , CURSING & DEFAMING THE MAN . LITTLE DO THE KNOW THAT THEIR ACTIONS ARE CAUSING LACK OF DELIVERY IN THIS COUNTRY . I ALWAYS OR PERHAPS REFER TO PRESIDENT MBEKI AS THE LAST PRESIDENT FOR I SEE DARKER CLOUDS GATHEING AHEAD OF US

THIS IS TO SAY BROTHER KAGANOF ===== I WEEP FOR AFRICA TODAY

March 27, 2008

a letter from luzuko

Filed under: luzuko elvis bekwa — ABRAXAS @ 11:15 am

GRANDMASTER

IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME SINCE I RECEIVED YOUR SERMONS . I ALMOST THINK THAT THE ANGELS OF SWEDEN ARE PERHAPS TRYING TO DEVOUR YOU THERE. PROMPTED BY THE LATEST INCIDENT IN THE COUNTRY OF MY UMBILICUS , IN PARTICULAR THE FREE STATE UNIVERSITY SAGA WHICH IN MY VIEW WAS HEAVILY POLARISED BY THE POLITICAL INTERFERENCE HAD MADE ME TO REALISE THE LEVEL & EXTENT OF HYPOCRISY PLAYED BY OUR POLITICIANS.

JUST ON THAT DAY I WAS AT ADULT WORLD & I HIRED ONE OF THOSE BIZZARE HARD CORE PORN VIDEOs WHICH THOUGH I MUST CONFESS WAS DIFFICULT TO STOMACH WAS QUITE MIND OPENING . MY POINT IS, HERE ARE BUNCH OF WOMEN BEGGING MEN TO SPIT & EJACULATE IN THEIR GAPED MOUTHS . BUT NOT ONLY THAT THESE MEN ALSO GOING TO AS FAR AS LICKING THESE WOMEN’S ANAL CAVITIES (SHITHOLES) & IN FACT ENJOYING IT.

I GUESS BY NOW YOU WILL ASSUME THAT I’M AN EROTOMANIAC PErVERT BECAUSE YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE I’M GOING WITH THIS .

MY POINT IS HERE IS A COUNTRY THAT BOASTS THE MOST LIBERATED DEMOCRACY & EXCELLENT HUMAN RIGHTS i.e FREEDOM OF SPEECH, FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION & FREEDOM OF PRIVACY. BUT NOW INSTEAD IT SEEMS AS IF SOMEONE HAS TRAMPLED ON SOMEONE’S RIGHT OF CHOICE OF EXPRESSION .

FOR OLD WOMEN WHO WANTED TO EXPLORE BIZZARE SIDE OF LIFE “WILLINGLY “. A CONSENT, THESE ARE KIDS WHO ASKED THESE WOMAN IN A NEW SOUTH AFRICA THAT IS GIVING PORN RIGHT TO TRADE & CONTRIBUTE TO THIS COUNTRy’s ECONOMY, & TO ME THIS ACT WAS PRECISELY A PART OF THAT SIDE OF ECONOMY OR WHAT EVER.

FINALLY MY TAKE ON THIS IS THAT THESE GUYS ARE TRYING TO USE THIS INCIDENT AS A DIViSION. THE REAL THREAT IN THIS COUNTRY TODAY IS NOT BASED ON COLOUR LINE PREJUDICE BUT IN FACT A TRIBAL PREJUDICE WHICH I THINK STILL EXISTS & IS BALANCING THIS COUNTRY ON A BUBBLE.

POLOKWANE & INCIDENTS THAT AROSE BEFORE POLOKWANE CLEARLY ALERTED US TO THIS POSSIBLE DANGER. THE 100% ZULUBOY CAMPAIGN & UMSHINI WAM SO CALLED FREEDOM SONG IN TODAY’S SA ARE A CLEAR INDICATION OF THE REAL PROBLEM IN THIS COUNTRY.

IF WE AS A COUNTRY ARE SERIOUS IN NATION BUILDINg WE SHOULD STOP ERODING & ERASING the WONDERFUL JOB DONE BY MANDELA , TUTU & MBEKI (AFRICAN RENAISsANCE).

GIVE THOSE KIDS A BREAK
GIVE THOSE WOMEN A BREAK

I WONDER HOW MUCH DID the MAN BEHIND THAT CAMERA GET?

MAYBE I WRITE THIS BECAUSE MY UMBILICUS IS SURROUNDED BY PINKNESS

luzuko elvis bekwa

March 5, 2008

“…a rare find…”

Filed under: luzuko elvis bekwa,music,warrick sony (kalahari surfer) — ABRAXAS @ 4:37 pm

GRANDMASTER

ONCE AGAIN YOU DIDN’T FAIL TO TORMENT ME WITH THESE RARE BLESSINGS. JUST AS I WAS LISTENING TO KALAHARI SURFERS END-BEGINNINGS, TRACK NO 8 (THE DESK) WITH THAT EVER CAPTIVATING WARRICK STYLE. IN THE SAME BREATH HAUNTED BY THE SOUNDS OF JOCELYN POOK ON THE SOUNDTRACK OF THE MOVIE EYES WIDE SHUT. AND ALSO HAVING THE STORIES OF THE TORMENTED & TORMENTING MASTERPIECES OF CLASSICAL GENIUS ELIZABETH SCHUMANN. AND OF Course VOICES OF DON CHERRY, JON TCHICAI , ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO AND OF COURSE MADNESS OF JOHnNY DYANI .. , I FOUND WHAT YOU SENT ME (WARRICK & LABAND LIVE AT INDEPENDENT ARMCHAIR) TO BE ONE OF THE MOST SCHIRZOPHRENISING PIECEs OF SOUND TO LISTEN TO . SOMETHING BETWEEN INDUSTRIAL GARBAGE & RELIGIOUS EXORCISM, A SOUND SO DISTURBING & ANNOYING TO LISTEN TO YET HAUNTING & ADDICTIVE AT THE SAME TIME.

I THINK THIS IS MUSIC OF THE FUTURE, WARRICK & LABAND ARE 150 YEARS AHEAD OF TIME, IT’S A RARE FIND INDEED.

February 22, 2008

expression 3: sex, crime & media in south africa

Filed under: luzuko elvis bekwa,poetry — ABRAXAS @ 5:16 pm

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February 20, 2008

expression 2: a solution of “let-it-be” approach or response to that incident

Filed under: luzuko elvis bekwa,poetry — ABRAXAS @ 5:15 pm

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February 18, 2008

expression one: the war in iraq and the way the media marketed that war to “us”

Filed under: luzuko elvis bekwa,poetry — ABRAXAS @ 6:21 pm

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January 9, 2008

luzuko elvis bekwa

Filed under: kagaportraits,luzuko elvis bekwa — ABRAXAS @ 9:17 pm

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