Jun 27, 2007


Apha-a-a eMzantsi Africa (Here in Southern Africa)
Kwenza-ka-l’ isimangaliso (Some marvel wonder happened)
Kwaku-band’ isimangaliso (It was wonderfully cold)
Kwafa –a-a nempahl’ emfishane (Even the small creatures died)

Kwaf’ ibhokwe ngenx’ yalel’ ikhephu (The goats perished because of this snow)
Kum-hlo-phe qhwa, naphezu kwezindlu! (Its white on house tops)

Ikhephu apha eMzansi Afrika (The snow in South Africa)
Kwakuband’ apha, eMzants’ Afrika (It was cold here in South Africa)
Ikhephu, ikhephu……..! (The snow, the snow!)
Li-ka 1963! (Of 1963)

This is a song that my beloved mother sung to us when we were young. She learnt this song when she attended school in one of the remote villages of north-western Matabeleland in Zimbabwe. It was a song of the 1963s sung to express one of the climatic wonders of the time-a snow fall. The snow fall did not occur in Matabeleland, not even in Zimbabwe but in South Africa. It must have been really cold that such was captured by school kids as further as a thousand kilometers away.
When I woke up today and saw of the snow fall on grasses, pavements, and plants, I remembered the song above. Since my stay in Johannesburg, I have never seen such a snow fall. I have been hearing of snow falls in such places as KwaZulu-Natal but not in Johannesburg before.
The meteorologists have stated that more is yet to come. In fact, we just entered the winter solstice last Wednesday hence we have to gear ourselves against more winter bit lest we get the bug. The trick is to keep warm, drink more water not more coffee! And sleep under warm blankets.
But why all this cold whether? Reason: Climatic change! Indeed, climatic change has become a thorn in the flesh of global leaders. The million-dollar question is how we can arrest it.


Susan Arthur said...

I enjoyed the snow too! It's the first snow fall in Joburg since 1981. I took pictures of my car this morning as it was covered in snow - so it was a cold day but exciting! I thought I might post my photo on my blog.

Ijeoma Uche-Okeke said...

Hi, I missed the snow!! It was one of those mornings that I slept in. When I woke up we had no electricity, it was freezing!! I saw shots of snowed in areas on the news.

Thomas Blaser said...

I can't wait for the summer to come back! I would not mind the cold and the snow, but the houses in Jozi are not equipped for cold weather. I mean if would not have to sit on a heater all day I would mind much less the snow and the cold. Mbuso, I nice song and I would like to hear it. And is this the climate change? I hope not but the weather is particular these days, to say the least. In January, east coast USA, I was walking around in shorts! Something's not quite right...

Lesley said...

I'm really moved by this post Mbuso. Thanks for sharing your mother's song and your memories. It's beautiful writing.

Susan Mwangi said...

I remember waking up that Wednesday morning and seeing a white blanket covering the land... and the smell of freshness filling the air. What a pretty picture!

It is interesting how songs keep memories alive. I know you are into the performing arts, are there plans to pass along this song to a third generation?

Valentin said...

What have you been up to lately, Mbuso?
Are you enjoying the new work?