‘Stimela’ as a metaphor for pain, and why I’ve been inconsistent


“We are told… that they think about their land and their herds that were taken away from them with the gun and the bomb and the tear gas and the gatling and the cannon… and they curse the coal train. The ¬†coal train that brought them to Johannesburg.”
Five years later and forever, one of my favourites. From one of the greats. Jazz in its purest form. Deep, emotional, painful, touching the soul. Pain is something we all share. We have all felt it; or will. It is a part of life. Stimela, meaning ‘steam train’ in my native language of isiZulu, communicates pain in its deepest form.

Music has an immense power to communicate emotion. And few artists can do so as artfully and naturally as South African Jazz musician, Hugh Masekela. One of my long time favourites.

This song speaks of South Africa’s apartheid migrant labour system and the degradation, pain, humiliation and destruction that it caused. Pain, however, is universal. And if you have ever felt it. This song, this song in particular will resonate with you.

As for why I’ve been inconsistent. I’ve been involved in a new endeavour. One that has taught me a lot and has impacted me, albeit sometimes painfully, for the better.

Here it is. There’s nothing like it.

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