We Are the Scatterlings of Africa

Ancient bones from Olduvai, echoes of the very first cry, who made me here and why beneath the copper sun? 


Oh I don’t know, Mahmood looked so cute with that African necklace on the homepage that I have Africa on miy mind. And anyway I needed a diversion because I’m working on something far more difficult.

So what I have on my mind is that in the early eighties a mixed race South African band called Juluka achieved international fame with a song called “Scatterlings of Africa.” Under apartheid there were almost no mixed race bands or venues for them, and Juluka had to play underground and their reputation spread by word of mouth. Due to the political content of many of their songs, their co-founder and lead singer, the South African white Johnny Clegg, endured several incarcerations and even more beatings. But Clegg never gave up.  

A “scatterling” is someone wiho has no home, who wanders. The meaning in the song is dual. On the one hand it refers to the uprootedness and squalor of the life of the urban South African blacks under apartheid, and on the other to the probable origins of all humankind in Africa, with some of the oldest remains being in Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania.

And well Truth and Reconciliation has long been a sacred concept to me so I thought I’d take the opportunity to pontificate about it yet again, and apply it to Israel/Palestine, and all the barking that goes on on the political threads in general here. But even a cursory glance at wiki reveals that, just over a decade later, today’s South Africa is a mess. (Well I kind of knew it anyway, but I didn’t want to admit it..)

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, with its amnesty for all those who gave full disclosure of their crimes, was by no means universally loved by the blacks, since obviously the misdeeds of the white masters were far greater than those of the African National Congress. And many of those whites who chose to remain after apartheid ended have since emigrated due to the high crime rate. This has created a most untimely brain drain with AIDS endemic, affecting 20% of the population. Additonally, poverty among whites, previously virtually unknown, has been rapidly rising. 

But the fact remains that Johnny Clegg never gave up.

And we are scatterlings of Africa, each and every one. Africa will never give up and we must never give up on Africa.

Her day must come.




(Give it a minute, it moves, a lot, and watch it full screen, it’s…kheili tarik, i.c….the video quality, I mean…).



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