Comrade Mkhululi Sijora Obituary (1982-2016)

From Zabalaza.net

Comrade Mkhululi Sijora Obituary (1982-2016)

Posted on July 28, 2016

by Lwazi Ngqingo

khustaCde Kusta’s untimely demise is a great loss. It will be felt by all those who were lucky to cross paths with him and all those who got to hear his music. He never questioned or withdrew his commitment to the struggle for freedom and justice, for a world with less political, economic, and gender based oppression.

Comrade Mkhululi Sijora Obituary

Mkhululi Sijora was born on the 1st August 1982 in Cape Town, Western Cape. He was the only child from his mother. Popularly known as ‘Khusta’ a name he got from his peers in the streets of Makhaza where he grew up and did most of his activism work. During his high school years in Chris Hani High School he became a peer educator and through that he did a lot of community work and at the same time he was writing and performing music as a rapper in a group he formed with friends, the groups’ name was Triple G’s.

After acquiring his matric he enrolled at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) for tertiary education studying Retail Marketing, this is where he was introduced to the world of politics. Khusta noted that before going to CPUT, he was not very interested in politics. After he was done with his studies he continued with making music performing at local hip hop sessions with his crew the Triple G’s and he continued working closely with Love Life: Ground Breakers.

Khusta was drawn in into SOS since 2010 first as a regular to the Struggle, hiphop and poetry in Lookout Hill, Khayelitsha. Quickly   he became one of the key members, he was then to join the inner circle meetings, and this is where his global politics were challenged, along with his perception of how much influence music has in changing the fabric of society. Cde Khusta gave all his time and life to defend the working class and all oppressed people. He was particularly critical of all bosses and political parties; he argued that the people themselves have the will and the power to rule themselves.

Within a space of a year he showed so much potential and became reliable comrade to take mandates from the organisation into other movements that we were interacting and building with.

Kusta didn’t separate his activism with his artistry. He was amongst the few artists that responded to the brutal murder of the Andries Tatane.

He didn’t hesitate to defend and demand justice for the Marikana mineworkers.

Kusekude engqinibeni

Sisese lucinizelweni

Ikude indle ebheka enkululekweni

Not yet Uhuru

Kodwa akuphethanga amabhulu

Umthetho esiphantsi kwawo ukhusela Oongxawankulu

Bavuka ngentseni bagoduke ngobusuku

Abasebenzi bezama ukwenza imali yoongxowa nkulu

Saqala uqhankqalaza  sadibana neembumbulu

45 people dead

Ezandleni zomthetho

I don’t care

Noba bafumene igani

Who gave them the right to take the people’s lives?

Bashayela umthetho

Babethane ngamaTender

Emva koko

Bavale umlomo

Ongathi ufna ukuthetha

ziPolitics

yiBusiness

Basibetha besibambile

Bafuna nje Amandla ethu

Basishiye silambile

Rest in peace to the Marikana Soldiers

We share the same struggle

Ukufa kwenu

Kuyoze kube nomvuzo nomvuka

Saxheleka imiphefumlo yophuka

Umvuzo wabasebenzi akenyuka

Inani lamaxhoba lenyuka

Kwanuka nje irhuluwa

– Kusta’s verse from the Bloodshed of the Innocent

He also put all his weight behind the #FeesMustFall.

Bagotywa besebatsha

is what we use to say

Apha baqotywa besebatsha

babotshelelwe ngechain

Ugutyungelwe ngomthetho

obaqweqwedisel’ ejele

Imfundo sisitixo

kodwa bona kumele bebhatele

Amatyala aqhekez’ ingqondo

ugqiba kwabo nje isgela

Ngamakhobok’ ebond

aphilel ubhatal’ ibank

The Fees must fall free education

Blade must go

As we March united in the struggle 

taking the streets

Like 76 we rise like they buried the seed

So raise up your fist and say it with me fees must fall

–Kusta’s verse from the fees must fall song

The comrade will be missed for his energy in protests as he was known for leading the struggle songs. He will be missed for his abilities in resolving conflicts with the movement, for he perpetually focused in building the unity of all people in struggle.

Cde Kusta’s untimely demise is a great loss. It will be felt by all those who were lucky to cross paths with him and all those who got to hear his music. He never questioned or withdrew his commitment to the struggle for freedom and justice, for a world with less political, economic, and gender based oppression.

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About Lucien van der Walt

I teach at Rhodes University, the Eastern Cape. I’m South African, born and bred. I am currently also involved in union education and have a background in social movement and left-wing activism, the Workers’ Library and Museum, the Anti-Privatisation Forum, and the National Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU). I’ve presented papers at more than 120 conferences and workshops, published in key journals like 'Capital and Class' and 'Labor History', have co-edited 3 journal specials (these on global labour history, African labour, and unions in the Global South), and written well over 130 other articles, papers and entries. I was Southern Africa editor for the 2009 'International Encyclopaedia of Revolution and Protest' (Blackwell). My focus has been on South Africa, but I have also done research in Zambia and Zimbabwe. I won the 2008 international 'Labor History' thesis prize, and the 2008/2009 Council for the Development of Social Science Research prize for best African dissertation, for my PhD thesis on South African anarchism, syndicalism and black militants. I have several books, including 'Negro e Vermelho: anarquismo, sindicalismo revolucionário e pessoas de cor na África Meridional nas décadas de 1880-1920,' 'Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1880-1940: the praxis of national liberation, internationalism, and social revolution' (co-edited with Steve Hirsch, Brill, 2010/ 2014) and 'Black Flame: the revolutionary class politics of anarchism and syndicalism' (co-written with Michael Schmidt, AK Press 2009).