Saturday, December 7, 2013

Nkosi Sikeleli Africa

When Madiba Nelson Mandela came to the European Parliament just a short while after his release from Robben Island, I happened to be part of the large team of interpreters working in the plenary meeting. I have always cherished that experience. The first year after South Africa had joined the ACP the meeting took place in Cape Town. And this is about the opening session...

Sikeleli Africa

At the first notes
just two white people jumped up
one with his left fist in the air
she with her hand on
her heart
All peoples standing
the light skinned
a few notes later –
The huge hall filled with

I like to think
the white people were
not recognizing the music in their
or just older and stiffer and

I like to think
Nkosi Sikeleli Africa
is the hope that touches us
all -           

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