Video

Cassper Nyovest Dedicates Fiery 'War Ready' Video To The Students Of The Soweto Uprising

South African rapper Cassper Nyovest's new music video for "War Ready" is dedicated to the student victims of the 1976 Soweto Uprising.

Screengrab: Cassper Nyovest's "War Ready" music video, directed by Kyle Lewis.
June 16th marks 40 years since the apartheid police opened fire on protesting black schoolchildren in Soweto. Four decades later Cassper Nyovest’s new video is dedicated to the student victims of the Soweto Uprising of 1976. The visuals are for the single “War Ready,” off the South African rapper’s sophomore album, Refiloe. The fiery track sees Nyovest rap “this is war” over chants and the pounding production of Ganja Beatz.

The video is equally fiery. Directed by Kyle Lewis, it begins with a dedication:


“In 1976, the South African Government declared a State of Emergency. For the next thirteen years, schoolchildren adopted a campaign of resistance. Over 750 were killed, over 10,000 arrested, many more tortured and assaulted. This films is dedicated to them.”

The clip proceeds to draw clear parallels between the 1976 protests and today’s #FeesMustFall movement as South Africa’s Black students are once again forced to square off against the authorities.

Watch below.

Revisit Talib Kweli and Nyovest's day out in Soweto with Okayafrica TV:

Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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