I was reading today and came across a tweet that pointed me to this post on the Hayibo.com website, and it made me chuckle a bit, but the overall emphasis on the idea behind the content of the post, is something close to my heart. It’s good to hear it from the mouth of another African person too, and I really hope that the single does well.
Reposted from Hayibo.com
CAPE TOWN. After 28 years of silently tolerating it, a group of unemployed local musicians have joined forces to release a Christmas single, entitled ‘Yes we do,’ in response to the Bob Geldof inspired Band Aid song, ‘Do they know it’s Christmas?’.
Speaking at the launch of their song, the musicians praised Geldof’s relentless quest for an answer and said they hoped their collaboration would free the Irishman and his friends to start looking for solutions to new and more important questions.
“Like Do they know about climate change in America? Or did Kim Jong-il have time to write down the abort codes for the nukes before he died? Or perhaps he can revert to the time-honoured classic – ‘Tell me why I don’t like Mondays.”
Speaking at the launch of the single, whose proceeds will go towards teaching discipline, literacy and contraception at British schools, composer and singer Boomtown Gundane said that for years he had been irked by Geldof’s assumption that hungry Africans were also stupid.
“Or was he just saying that Africans were stupid? Of course we knew it was Christmas.”
He said despite the poverty and hunger that had inspired Geldof and his friends to create the song back in 1984 that Africans had developed their own ways to remember Christmas.
“Just because we don’t have Boney M or Christmas advertising in September doesn’t mean we are oblivious to it,” said Gundane who went on to suggest that Africans were a lot like the Irish.
“They made it through disasters like the potato blight and the invention of the Protestant church without forgetting Christmas – why did they think we would forget it?”
When asked why the ensemble of African musicians, who have called themselves Plaster Cast, had taken so long to come up with a response to the Band Aid song Gundane said it had taken a while for them to realise that it wasn’t actually an elaborate joke.
“We kept waiting for them to laugh,” he said, “But the punch-line never arrived.”
Gundane said he hoped that his involvement with the song would turn him into an expert on British politics and economics in the same way ‘Do they know it’s Christmas’ had turned Geldof and Bono into the world’s leading experts on Africa.
“If I’m not sharing a platform with the Queen and David Cameron by this time next year; or headlining at Glastonbury, then I will have done something very wrong,” said Gundane.
My very best wishes to Gundane and the musicians. I hope you have a blessed Christmas, and a very happy 2012.