Tuesday, 20 January 2009
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Release
The Dlamini King Brothers, an isicathimyia choir with 12 members all of whom live in the Kennedy Road settlement, have released their debut album Hlis’uMoya. The choir was formed in 1999 and over the last few years has become an important part of the cultural life of Abahlali baseMjondolo.
On 27 September last year the Dlamini King Brothers beat 108 other isicathimyia choirs to win the 11th Annual Isicathimyia Competition held at the Playhouse Theatre in Durban. This is the biggest and most important isicathimyia competition in South Africa.
After winning this competition the Dlamini King Brothers were able to record their first album. The album is called Hlis’uMoya which means that the spirit of God must come down.
The Dlamini King Brothers were inspired to create an album in which some songs fall under Christianity and some under what is happening in the community, the land and the world because people are killing each other and killing each other’s spirits. AIDS is also killing people and people’s spirits are being vandalized by rape. The Dlamini King Brothers say that the poor have to survive under the conditions where the government ignores the people who live in shacks. Yet we are human like everyone.
People are created by God and in the image of God and yet they feel so unstable. The Christian songs on Hlis’uMoya request the spirit of God to come down to the people to encourage and strengthen them. The political songs encourage people to climb the mountain.
The Dlamini King Brothers say that the biggest mistake was made when it was decided to establish what is known as money. Money is what has made people to turn on each other. We have to defeat the power of money and see that each person is made in the image of God. People can find spiritual strength in God, their culture and their movements.
They also say that Abahlali baseMjondolo encourages and strengthens the people and so their music also tries to encourage and strengthen Abahlali baseMjondolo. They say that what they are today is because of Abahlali baseMjondolo. In the song called ‘Abahlali’ they call for a partnership between the government and Abahlali baseMjondolo that can affirm the dignity of the poor and create justice for the poor. They have also written a song about S’bu Zikode because he has had the courage to handle all the situations troubling the community and he has the respect and love of the people. This song is called Thole Lesilo.
The Dlamini King Brothers were formed in 1999 in Kennedy Road. The members of the choir come from Bizana in the Eastern Cape and Post Shepstone in KwaZulu-Natal. They are working in various aspects of the construction industry including laying down tarmac, installing granite tops in kitchens, landscaping, plumbing and working on the new airport.
Over the years they have participated in numerous competitions and performed at many events and in many communities including their home towns of Bizana and Port Shepstone.
The Dlamini King Brothers are passionate about isicathimya and say that it is the music of gentlemen, the people who behave themselves and do not want to do wrong to other people. It is music that encourages spiritual strength and dignity in a world of suffering and it has a very strong and clear message. It can deal with all the issues facing the community and although it requires years of regular practice for a choir to become respected it costs not one even cent because no instruments are required. They say it is a non-perishable music that is just running through their veins.
The Dlamini King Brothers would like to thank the Kennedy Road, Bizana and Post Shepstone communities and all the members of Abahlali baseMjondolo for their support, including spiritual support which has been very much encourageous.
They would like to say that they are always willing to travel to perform but that they often find that the cost of transport to places like Cape Town and Johannesburg is a problem.
They want to say that the souls of the members of the choir that have passed away must rest in peace and that their spirit is always with the choir all the time.
To buy a copy of the album at R70 or to book the choir for a performance please contact the Abahlali baseMjondolo office in the Kennedy Road settlement. For comment on the choir and their debut album contact the choir leader Tomorrow Mkhethelwa on082 4342949.