By Pinky Khoabane
In remembering the country which contributed to the person I am today, with all its political and economic problems and hopelessness, I thought of the music which greets you as you enter the border post at Christmas as the men, who are shackled in the mining killing fields of South Africa, return home. For a year they leave their families seeking means of a better life and in most cases, they return home with very little to show for the years and hardships of creating wealth for white monopoly capitalists. Many return home later in life with tuberculosis, silicosis, Aids and a host of injuries incurred underground. In most cases they really return home to die.
Nothing deters their mood as they arrive in early morning taxis from Welkom or other mining towns of South Africa after a 12-hour or more trip. Wearing their Basotho blanket, a radio on the shoulder and holding molamu, they play famo – the popular music that blends koriana (accordion), poetry and spoken word. The music is rich with narratives of day-to-day lives of Basotho. Enjoy!