foreign music week: sarafina!

gah it’s friday evening and i almost forgot to post today’s musical choice: songs from the musical sarafina! here is an excerpt from the wikipedia entry of sarafina!:

Sarafina! is a south african musical by mbongeni ngema depicting students involved in the soweto riots, in opposition to apartheid. it was also adapted into the 1992 movie starring leleti khumalo, whoopi goldberg, miriam makeba, john kani and tertius meintijies.

i first saw this movie around the time i was enamored with the lion king (when am i not?). naturally, i was fascinated with all things african (when am i not?) and was drawn to sarafina! (side note: sarafina was the name of nala’s mother ANNNNNND whoopi goldberg voiced shenzi in the lion king) not only that, but my father raised me on oldies music (oldies 94.5, holla) so i’d already loved whoopi goldberg because of song selections from sister act.

i have to admit that as a young kid, i couldn’t have understood the message of the movie and it was only years later when i sought out the dvd that i could appreciate its power. it reminded me a bit of the book cry, the beloved country by alan paton. that’s another post, however.


watch the videos. they’re good.

1 thought on “foreign music week: sarafina!

  1. Thanks for this!

    It took me back! The Soweto Riots will always be remembered by honoring youth day and people’s actions such as yourself.

    The Soweto Riots is also a theme in my book. We need to use these stories to tie together a stronger South African identity. When we know our past we know what we can achieve.


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