Hugh Masekela - Coal Train Live
“There’s a train that comes from Namibia and Angola. There’s a train that comes from Zimbabwe and Zambia. There’s a train that comes from Malawi , from Mozambique and Swaziland. There’s a train that comes from Botswana ,from Lesotho and the whole hintherland of Southern Africa. And this train carries in it young and old men of African origin who come and work on conscription , contracts in the gold and mineral mines of of Johannesburg and its surrounding metropoli. Deep deep down in the underbelly of the earth where they are digging and drilling for that mighty shiny evasive stone or when they dish mish mash mush food into their iron plates or their iron shovel. Or when they think about their loved ones as they are sitting in their funky filthy flea ridden barracks. They think about their lands and herds that were taken away from them. And when they hear that chu chu train screaming and puffing in the far of horizan. They always curse and cuss the coal train that brought them to Johannesburg ‘STIMELA!’ ”
#I had a conversation with a Zambian friend of mine and we were discussing the well kept secret of the inheritence of migrant labour in Southern Africa. As the monologue by Hugh Masekela illustrate the mining industry gave birth to mass migration by men to industralised mining centres. Not only man from the rural landscapes of South Africa but in the surrounding countries as well. What was left behind was women being head of their household , and when they too migrated for labour, the elders and children where left behind fend and raise for themselves.Sadly the “conventional" family system was and still is broken , a cycle continues.