Soundz of the South: Elections Serve the System! from “They In On It”

Elections serve the system like chalk board and duster
Voting only allows you to choose a new master
To hide the ugly ugliness of government with the plaster
It’s a shame when you keep recycling these bastards
Bourgeoisie democracy is a mockery
We don’t want the loaf we want to run the bakery
Vote for any party expect treachery
You mandating them to feed of the common treasury
Open your eyes to truth is plain to see
Reality check from the Biko MC
Smash the TV
Smash the radio
Build community control of the media
Toyi-toyi can’t coexist with dictatorship
This art form defies all forms of censorship
The culture is Hiphop
Only self activity will set the people free

– Biko MC verse from They in on it, Freedom Warriors Vol 2

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.

Analysis: Biko Mutsaurwa, 2013, “The Afrikan Hiphop Caravan: Building a Revolutionary Counterculture”

Biko Mutsaurwa, 2013, “The Afrikan Hiphop Caravan: Building a Revolutionary Counterculture,” The Journal of Hip Hop Studies, volume 1, number 2, pp. 226-231.

pdflogosmall Get the PDF here

EXTRACT S BELOW

Biko Mutsaurwa is a leading Shona poet, Hip Hop artist and community activist. He is the founder of UHURU Network, an educational trust that uses cultural activism and popular education to advance the struggle for freedom of expression and social justice in Zimbabwe. He is also one of the initiators of the Afrikan Hiphop Caravan. In this article, he provides a brief outline of the lessons to be learned from a decade of Hip Hop activism on the African continent. In addition to providing a short historical overview of the roots of the Afrikan Hiphop Caravan, he outlines the vision of the project: the creation of a
coherent Afrikan Hiphop Movement based upon a strategic orientation towards social movements of the working class and the oppressed.

… In 2004, an affinity group of student activists, Hip Hop activists and socialists established Uhuru Network, based in Harare, as a decentralised platform where members of the Toyitoyi Arts Collective, Imani Media Collective, Impilo Permaculture Collective and Ruzivo Study Circle met and forged theoretical and tactical unity. As a social movement, emerging from the concrete struggles of working people in Zimbabwe against the Economic Structural Adjustment Programs (ESAPs) of the ZANU-PF dictatorship, the Network was from the start decidedly anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarianist. Continue reading

Soundz of the South: Don’t Vote! Organise!

Don’t Vote! Organise!

Click image to download PDF

In the build up to the 2014 elections, politicians – whether from the DA, ANC, EFF, or PAC – have been calling on us to vote. As part of this, they have promised to meet people’s needs, end poverty and serve communities when they are elected. The promises of all these politicians are lies.

Politicians don’t give a damn about workers and the poor; all they care about is their own power. They will tell us anything to get nice jobs in parliament. When politicians get into the state – whether at a municipal or national level – all they do is pass laws and put in place policies that benefit themselves and their rich friends. They protect their own interests and those of their allies in the form of the capitalists when they are in the state. Far from serving us; they wage a war on us. Continue reading

Soundz of the South: End Police Brutality

Soundz of the South: End Police Brutality

Over the last few years we have seen many people, protesting for basic rights and a living wage, being killed at the hands of the police. We remember how Andries Tatane was shot over and over with rubber bullets by the police for simply demanding basic services, like water, housing and electricity. We remember too how the state’s judges let these killers off. We also remember how the workers at Marikana were brutally gunned down by the police for striking for a higher wage.

In Khayelitsha too we know that police harass and beat people when they protest. Over the last few months the Progressive Youth Movement (PYM) and SST residents have been demanding the basics of life, like housing and sanitation. But when this happened the police attacked them and harassed them. People can’t even walk in the street in red shirts without being harassed by the police and state. Continue reading

Soundz of the South: End poverty, fight for decent jobs

End poverty, fight for decent jobs

The reason why millions and millions of people, especially young people, are unemployed and live in poverty in South Africa is because of the capitalist and state systems. Capitalism and the state lead to all sorts of problems including unemployment, inequality and the oppression of workers, women and people of colour.

Unemployment and poverty are part of capitalism. Anarchists have always said that while workers produce all the wealth under capitalism; through the wage system and the law, this wealth is stolen by the ruling class – made up of the rich and politicians. It is this theft that causes poverty. So while the rich and politicians own almost everything, including the land and factories, most people end up owning almost nothing and are stuck in poverty. It is this which also forces people to sell themselves as workers to members of the ruling class: it is the only way they can survive. This too allows for their continued exploitation – they get only a tiny amount of what they produce in the form of a wage; while the boss and state takes the rest as profit and tax. In effect, under capitalism, workers and the poor are endlessly robbed. The state is then used by the rich and politicians to keep this unfair situation in place – it is the state that protects the rich and politicians and if people protest against how unfair capitalism is, the state steps in to stop them.

People also become unemployed under capitalism because the ruling class hire the smallest number of people possible, and force them to work very hard, to make bigger and bigger profits. This means millions of people don’t have work because bosses want to cut costs by hiring only a few workers not everyone. This means a strange situation is found under capitalism where most workers are over-worked; while millions of other people are unemployed. Continue reading

Soundz of the South: By voting we are only choosing our oppressors

With the local government elections approaching, politicians (whether from the DA, COPE, ANC or PAC) are once again crawling out, like cockroaches, to ask for our votes. As part of this, they are once again promising us houses, jobs and service delivery – the usual old recycled lies. The reality, however, is that we don’t have houses and proper service delivery because we live in a system of total inequality – a system of capitalism and the state. The councillors lying to us know this, but they want our votes so that they too can become comfortable and rich.

In fact, there is such bad housing and service delivery because the politicians from the ANC, DA, COPE and the PAC have cut funding for services for years. In the 1990s, under ANC rule, allocations to municipalities for “service delivery” were cut by an average of 85%. The only way municipalities can raise money, therefore, is through charging the poor. It is the state’s policy, and the policy of all political parties, that municipalities must raise funds from service charges. Services, like water and electricity, are therefore only provided to those who can afford them. The poor can’t pay so under this cruel system our water and electricity are cut. On top of that, the poor are made to pay more for services – precisely because they often can’t pay, cost recovery drives councils and utilities to suck every drop they can out of the townships. Township residents pay rates up to 40 percent higher than those in the rich suburbs. And capitalists – the big bosses – have it even easier: industry rates are typically one-sixth of those charged to the suburbs! The poor can’t pay much, and the rich don’t pay much. The result is that most municipalities in South Africa are bankrupt or indebted and cannot deliver the services we are promised. However, this does not mean that central government does not have money. It simply means that the government rather spends it on infrastructure development, like stadiums, that it hopes will make South Africa look like a good place for foreign investors. This happens while the poor are cut off, evicted and forced to have prepaid meters. Continue reading