31 MAY 2019:Recently my daughter Meghan took part in a student volunteer trip to South Africa with the terrific VESA program. She helped build houses, taught English, looked after kids at an orphanage, and got to see some of the amazing country as well, including experiencing some of the colourful Zula culture.

Her trip got me thinking about one of my favourite artists from a few years back: White South African musician Johnny Clegg, who garnered a measure of international fame for his unique mix of western and African musical styles (think Paul Simon, circa Graceland), Zulu backing band, and occasional Zulu lyrics – all of which served as a defiant, obvious protest against the ghastly Apartheid era.

All these years later, Clegg – who performed under the band names Juluka, Savuka, and solo – sounds as fresh as ever (he still performs, though sadly is battling pancreatic cancer) and deserves to be remembered for both his trailblazing politics (he has received the Order of the British Empire), and his joyous music.

See him if you ever get the chance (fingers crossed), but for now check out his biggest hit, the sublime “Scatterlings of Africa,” which hit No. 43 in the UK in 1983 and appeared in the film Rain Man five years later. – Mike

Lyrics

Copper sun sinking low
Scatterlings and fugitives
Hooded eyes and weary brows
Seek refuge in the night

Chorus
They are the scatterlings of Africa
Each uprooted one
On the road to Phelamanga
Beneath the copper sun

And I love the scatterlings of Africa
Each and every one
In their hearts a burning hunger
Beneath the copper sun

Broken wall, bicycle wheel
African sun forging steel, singing
Magic machine cannot match
Human being human being
African idea -- make the future clear

Chorus
They are the scatterlings of Africa
Each uprooted one
On the road to Phelamanga
Beneath the copper sun

And for the scatterlings of Africa
The journey has begun
Future find their hungry eyes
Beneath the copper sun

Ancient bones from Olduvai
Echoes of the very first cry
"Who made me, here and why?
Beneath this copper sun."

My very first beginnings
Beneath the copper sky
Lie deeply buried
In the dust of Olduvai

Chorus
And we are scatterlings of Africa
Both you and I
We are on the road to Phelamanga
Beneath a copper sky

And we are scatterlings of Africa
On a journey to the stars
Far below we leave forever
Dreams of what we were

Hawu beke Mama-ye! Mama-ye!
In the beginning
Beneath the copper sky
Ancient bones

In the dust of Olduvai
Who made us, here, and why
Remember!
Scatterlings of Africa

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author

Michael Baginski

Editor, Mike Baginski is well known and well respected within the industry across Canada, the US, in the Caribbean, Mexico and numerous other destinations outside North America.

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