Dec 1, 2007

Lucky Dube, a Victim of His Own Prophecies

Nobody can stop reggae cos reggae is strong. They tried to kill it many years ago. Killing the brothers of reggae, destroying the brothers of reggae   -Lucky Dube,

They evils Lucky Dube sang about were, indeed, the forces that wrenched him off the surface of this sinful world. At the time that Lucky Dube got the inspiration that saw his transition from Mbaganga, a South African native music, to reggae, the most prominent reggae men that played his style of music were either dead or retired. Bob Marley died of cancer in 1981. Peter Tosh was assassinated six years later. Eric Donaldson and Jimmy Cliff had all taken a bow. Events were working to kill the music. Lucky Dube stepped in. Exactly twenty years after the assassination of Peter Tosh, his inspiration, Lucky Dube was also killed violently in an abortive car jacking incident. Except somebody steps in now, the music is sure to die.

We hear him crying so bitterly. Trying to get people to help him but nobody. His son was brutalizing people every time but you said nothing. Coming back with stolen things. Instead of telling how wrong he was, you told him how cleaver he was. Driving stolen cars every time, but you say nothing- Lucky Dube,

From the above song one will understand that car theft is common in Dube's native South Africa. Unfortunately, the singer was to fall victim of the crime costing him his life in the process. Dube definitely fell victim of the issues he sang against.

So much has been written about the accomplishments of the rocking South African Rastafarian but this column feels the biggest accomplishment of the man was his ability to do what the politicians, with all the power and the resources, could not do. He used his music to sell his country around the world. Hence Dube is one of the single most important phenomenal to emerge from South Africa. The impression of the nation around the world was that of a notorious nation b best known for its apartheid policies. He used his music to add a colorful and brilliant shade to this picture. At home he joined freedom fighters with his militant music to fight down apartheid. The 'Prisoner' (1991) and 'House of Exile' (1992) albums represent the climax of his career. The single, 'prisoner' from the Prisoner album is a song that highlighted racial injustice against the black during the apartheid era. 'War and crime' from the same album addressed the killings due to the struggles during the apartheid. In the album, 'House of Exile', the song 'Group Areas Act' celebrates the end of apartheid after Fredrick De Clarke, the white South African President at the time, announced it.

The relationship between ordinary South Africans and their heroes appears to be some how blurred. Is it that the South Africans are conforming to the saying that 'a prophet is not recognized in his backyard? In 2001, Lucky Dube was almost shot by a policeman while shooting a video. In this last incident the mistake could not be averted. He was shot and killed.

A man who is face to face with death thinks first, about his children. In Dube's case the children witnessed, with their own eyes, the killing of their father. This is one of the most grievous sins of man against man. Luckily, the culprits are in the net. When justice is eventually carried out, the children will get the re-assurance that their father was not the subject of hypocritical love. They will then feel secured thereon.

The vacuum created by the death of Lucky Dube will take a long time to fill.



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