The praises of Ndlela kaSompisi, a key general in the Zulu army, who rose to power after defeating the Ndwandwe on Shaka’s behalf (see also Shaka’s Praises).
Rattler of spears!
He who is unable to lie down,
one side being red with wounds…
A popular Zulu song from Johannesburg. The singer refers mockingly to the repressive apparatus of the apartheid state.
Come here my beloved,
Come, give me a kiss…
A Zulu song about a young migrant worker who has left home to seek jobs in Johannesburg and the search made by his siblings to find him.
We were sent by our parents
To search for our father’s child…
A popular Zulu song about the sinking of SS Mendi in February 1917 as it carried African Battalions belonging to the South African Native Labour Corps on their way to World War 1 in France. The ship collided in fog off the Isle of Wight with an empty merchant vessel bound for Argentina. 646 men were drowned, in one of the worst ever marine disasters.
The ship Mendi went down at sea
And sank there with the sons of Africa…
Three Zulu songs from Johannesburg about the notorious Pass Laws of the Apartheid era. All Africans were required to carry a special pass, permitting them to be in the city.
Take a visit to Johannesburg:
You will see big crowds…
Three Zulu hymns. Isaiah Shembe, the founder and leader of the Zulu Church which bears his name, wrote many hymns. In them, Zulu and Christian traditions are united to express the aspirations of an exploited people.
I shouted day and night:
Why did you not hear me?