Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images.

Tendai Mtawarira of Barbarians takes to the field during the Killik Cup match between Barbarians and Fiji at Twickenham Stadium on November 16, 2019 in London, England.

Retired Springbok Legend Tendai Mtawarira Speaks on Black Lives Matter

The veteran rugby player has added his voice to Black Lives Matter and systemic racism as the reckoning within South African sports continues.

Retired Springbok rugby player Tendai Mtawarira has recently added his voice to the Black Lives Matter conversation. Mtawarira took to social media to express his support for former teammate and current Springbok captain, Siya Kolisi, who also recently showed his support for several Black sportsmen who have shared their experiences with racism within South African sport, in the past few weeks.

South African sport continues to undergo a reckoning as it pertains to the continued systemic racism which has had a silent stronghold on the industry. The likes of Proteas cricketer Lungi Ngidi and veteran cricketer Makhaya Ntini have since shown their support for the Black Lives Matter movement, despite notable backlash, and also spoken out about possible transformation within not only cricket, but South African sports as a whole.

READ: South Africans React to Springbok Legend Tendai Mtawarira's Retirement

In Mtawarira's latest Instagram post, he says that, "We need to afford each other the same opportunities to excel." He goes on to add that, "I really feel that, in this time, we're at a crossroads and a pivotal moment where we have to make a decision. There are certain things we might have endured in the past and we have to bring them to light because for us to move forward, we have to address the big elephant in the room. We have to bring about those conversations that will bring discomfort to everybody but that will allow us to grow. I feel the decisions that we make today will impact the future of our kids and the next generation."

Mtawarira, a Zimbabwean national who is the third most most-capped Springbok player after former South African Springboks Victor Matfield and Bryan Habana, also touched on his previous troubles with the South African government and his work permit. Although now a thing of the past, the ordeal almost cost him his now illustrious career as a Springbok player.


6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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