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  • Posted by : musicinhistory

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  • Date posted : Jan 01, 1970

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Some prominent South African musicians discuss the role of music and theatre in publicising black consciousness and anti-apartheid movements in their homeland. There are excellent performances of Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika by Family Factory and the Soweto String Quartet, and excerpts of interviews with Hugh Masekela, Michael Masote and others. Between 1948 and 1991, South Africa was a nation of diverse ethnicities and tribal groups, however a stringent series of laws and regulations - collectively referred to as apartheid - kept whites in positions of political power and economic affluence, while black South Africans were denied voting rights, political activism, education, freedom of movement and association. One of the reasons that apartheid was so effective and long-lasting was that it suppressed resistance and ideology and exploited divisions amongst the native Africans themselves. Music, dance, theatre and other cultural expressions played a pivotal role in uniting Africans and the world against apartheid and inspiring hope that it could and would be overcome. Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika, a song with a beautiful melody and peaceful and uplifting lyrics, became the best known songs of the anti-apartheid movement - and those who sang it in public were liable to be persecuted or arrested. It now constitutes the first part of South Africa's national anthem, along with an excerpt of the 'old' Afrikaans anthem The Call of South Africa, and some newly-devised English lyrics. The Music in History channel is operated by Alpha History. Visit our website at http://alphahistory.com for great history teaching and learning resource.

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