empowered by the word and sound

So I have decided that I will turn my book Rock ‘n Rule into a three part series of essays/articles/ links and poems.

After re-reading my upcoming debut Rock ‘n Rule: The Essays, Stories and Poetry of Menzi Maseko, it became even more obvious that through my musings, all I have really done is introduce topics of various levels of significance into the world. To say that I have introduced them is also quite deceptive because very few of my themes are actually novel or unique, as they have been raised by various writers with even better precision.

But what I aim to do is speak of music, global and radical politics and esoteric spirituality from the layman’s perspective, to actually speak to audiences that don’t actually get to read journals such as Downbeat, UTNE Reader, Liberator Mag or Chimurenga Chronic etc

Of course it is okay to a let people, especially the creative folk and potential innovators find their own feet and seek out their own intellectual stimulation and inspiration; but then again, I come from a place where many youth are hardly ever drawn towards alternatives. For an example, a 16 year old girl from Kwa-Mashu is highly unlikely to come across the super-brilliant music of a Hiatus Kaiyote; Bobby Hutcherson;  The Brother Moves On; Dr Phillip Tabane; Big K.R.I.T.; Little Dragon or even local Electronic music innovators such as The CITY; SIBOT; pianists Kyle Shepherd or Bokani Dyer or Nduduzo Makhathini or the artworks of AmaSosha collaborator Mthobisi Maphumulo or Wonder Buhle or Nhlanhla Chonco.

All that I aim to do is bring my people closer to their own creative genius. Perhaps this is the kind of work that a person like the late Lwazi “King Zorro” Xaba was striving to do. But the sad reality is aside from an occasional hastily written tribute or journalists article, the people I have mentioned above and many others, such as the octogenarian pianist Theo Bophela from Inanda or guitarist/percussionist Njaza Dlamini, guitarist, teacher and inventor David Msweli, hardly get written about. Their work then fades into obscurity and relative irrelevance, plunging many of them and their families into deep depression and debt.

Also what I seek to do is much more that simply shine a spotlight on these characters and their work, the main aim is to take a semiotic or even sociological exploration of the terrain they operate in, to take an inner journey into their mind, the creative process and what it has to offer to the world, especially our world of Blackness, which is overly determined by many layers of oppression and structural invisibility.

 

 

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