Volume 9, Issue 4
"Mannenberg": Notes on the Making of an Icon and Anthem
Abstract: Abdullah Ibrahim's [Dollar Brand] composition "Mannenberg" was an instant hit, when it was released on the 1974 album, Mannenberg is Where It's Happening. This paper shows that the song is a product of Ibrahim's efforts to find an authentically South African mode of expression within the jazz tradition, blending South African musical forms -- marabi, mbaqanga, and langarm--with American jazz-rock fusion. It quickly became an icon of South African jazz, defining the genre both within the country and overseas. At the same time, the South African coloured community invested the song with their own meaning, transforming it into an an icon of their culture and of themselves. In the 1980s, "Mannenberg" had a second life as an anthem of the struggle against apartheid. Some called it South Africa's "unofficial national anthem." Once again, the song acquired a new meaning, this time through the efforts of musicians, especially Basil Coetzee and Robbie Jansen, who made it the musical centerpiece of countless anti-apartheid rallies and concerts. As the paper traces this narrative, it is constantly aware of the profound influence of African-American culture and political thought on Ibrahim and the coloured community as a whole.
On a winter's day in 1974, a group of musicians led by Abdullah Ibrahim (or Dollar Brand, as most still knew him) entered a recording studio on Bloem Street, in the heart of Cape Town, and emerged, hours later, having changed South African music, forever. Together, they had created "Mannenberg," a song which quickly became a national and international hit. The album on which it appeared, Mannenberg is Where It's Happening, sold more copies in 1974 and 1975 than any jazz LP recorded in South Africa and reestablished Ibrahim as South Africa's leading jazz musician. But the song was much more than a mere best seller. In the years after its release, "Mannenberg" gained almost universal recognition as "the most iconic of all South African jazz tunes." The release of "Mannenberg" was also the moment when it became clear that a new musical genre had emerged. Known internationally as South African jazz and locally as Cape jazz or the Cape Town sound, it was something towards which Ibrahim had been working for over a decade. "Mannenberg" was not the first and, perhaps, not even the best example of this new style. But the song was the first to bring it to a wide public. Just as significant, however, was "Mannenberg's" second act, which began several years after its release. During the climax of the anti-apartheid struggle in the 1980s, many South Africans embraced it as "a popular metaphor for all the townships where trouble brewed." Giving voice to the dreams of the dispossessed, it was the sound of freedom or, as many called it, South Africa's "unofficial national anthem."
The idea that "Mannenberg" the best-seller would someday metamorphose into "Mannenberg" the struggle anthem would have surprised anyone who heard it in 1974. Its struggle credentials are by no means obvious. It is a song with few words, a lilting melody, and a gentle, hypnotic groove. There is, seemingly, nothing angry about it, nothing that would inspire people to stand up to the teargas, whips, and bullets of the apartheid state. And, yet, it did just that. The "Friday night song" became an anthem. This transfiguration was, in part, a function of the song's inherent beauty and Ibrahim's association with it. But more importantly, it was the work of Basil Coetzee and Robbie Jansen, two of the musicians who recorded the tune with Ibrahim on that day in 1974. They made the hit an anthem by placing it at the musical center of countless anti-apartheid rallies, demonstrations, and benefit concerts throughout the 1980s. When Coetzee or Jansen played "Mannenberg," musicians flooded the stage to jam, and evoked a collective response, a kind of politically charged ecstasy, from everyone present. The song's popularity and the political context within which it was being played allowed the musicians to create moments of intense emotion and solidarity, making the song, in the words of an anti-apartheid newspaper, "a symbol of our hardship." This, then, is a story about one song with two lives.
We begin with Abdullah Ibrahim, the man credited with composing "Mannenberg" and leader of the recording sessions that put the song on vinyl. He was born Adolphus "Dollar" Brand, in Cape Town in 1934. In many ways, he reflects that city's polyglot nature. His ancestry is mixed, making him "coloured," in the South African scheme of things, a member of Cape Town's largest racial community and one with a rich musical heritage. Yet his musical influences cut across vast distances of time and space. His mother played the piano in a local congregation of the African Methodist Episcopal Church [AME], a black American denomination that had sent missionaries to South Africa in the late nineteenth century. She encouraged his early enthusiasm for music, and, indeed, the stately chord progressions of the AME hymnal have provided much of the harmonic foundation for his music ever since. By the time he reached his mid-twenties, he had mastered virtually all the popular musics of the day, having apprenticed in Cape Town and Johannesburg with African jazz bands, playing marabi, mbaqanga, and American jazz standards, and with coloured langarm dance bands, which relied on waltzes, foxtrots, and South African styles such as vastrap and ticky-draai. Immensely talented, he had quickly become one of the leading figures in the flourishing Cape Town and Johannesburg jazz communities.
In 1959, Ibrahim, Kippie Moeketsi, Hugh Masekela, Jonas Gwangwa, Johnny Gertze, and Makaya Ntshoko formed the Jazz Epistles. It was a diverse group--Coloureds and Africans, local heros and relative unknowns, men from Cape Town and from Johannesburg--united by their allegiance to modern jazz. The Epistles emulated New York-based African-American musicians, such as Thelonius Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, and Charlie Parker, whose music constituted a substantial part of their repertory, as did their own compositions. Although the Epistles were neither the first nor the only South Africans to play modern jazz, most observers at the time and since have called them the most influential. Moeketsi, the leading saxophonist of the era, called it "the best band I ever played in." Although modern jazz (or bebop) formed the basis of the group's repertory, Ibrahim, at least, drew on local musical idioms in private. Masekela, for instance, recalls that Ibrahim "often regaled" fellow musicians "with folk songs from Cape Town's colored [sic] minstrel carnival." Drum magazine described a late night party at which he mimicked Elvis Presley, as well as coloured and African popular music. In public, however, Ibrahim and the Epistles avoided local music. The single album that they released might as well have been recorded in New York or Detroit. The sound is pure bebop, pure modern jazz.
The Epistles, similarly inclined musicians, such as Chris McGregor, Cups Nkanuka, and Harold Jeptha (who were white, African, and coloured respectively), and their fans constituted what Valmont Layne calls a "hipster breakaway." They defined themselves in opposition to conventional South African society, whether black or white. They were urbane and cosmopolitan; they flouted South Africa's racial etiquette and, more crucially, its racial laws; they were self-consciously bohemian. This small interracial community of musicians and fans, arising in Cape Town, and to a lesser extent, in Johannesburg, emulated American beboppers and beatniks. Drum magazine, which throughout the 1950s and early 1960s chronicled all that was hip, played along, asking whether Ibrahim was "crazy," a "genius," or a "beatnik." While acknowledging that Moeketsi was "a great and devoted musician," it called him "the problem child of music, the naughty Puck with a profound weakness for a shapely leg." More recent commentary follows the same pattern. David Coplan notes that Moeketsi:
not only tried to play like [Charlie Parker] but to dress, talk, and act like him. Kippie played the role of the hard-drinking, irresponsible, arrogant jazz genius, damaging his reputation in both the black community and black show business, where the erratic, alienated hipster image seemed conceited, anti-social and amoral.
While modern jazz never attracted a large following, the musicians, intellectuals, writers, and activists who were among its fans ensured that its impact South African music, and on the culture generally, was substantial.
The Epistles and other South African modern jazz musicians shared more than songs, clothes, drugs, and booze with their American counterparts. They also shared their "continuous and rigorous attack on artistic convention," as well as its "alienation from society and antagonism toward its audience..." Ibrahim, who fellow Cape Town pianist Vincent Kolbe remembers as "very serious" about his art and unconcerned with commercial success, made few concessions to his audience, sometimes telling "[a]nyone who doesn't like the music or can't understand this music, please leave!" While South African jazz musicians generally avoided political activism, social alienation and musical inaccessibility are, as Brian Ward has noted, political statements in and of themselves, as are personal and sartorial style. Those who see the Epistles as the very embodiment of the "New African" (urban, urbane, and quasi-Americanized) have a point. They were engaged in a kind of cultural guerilla warfare against the laws, values, and expectations of the apartheid state. As we shall see, the state certainly viewed them and their music with deep suspicion.
Politics and music built on alienation and inaccessibility have their limitations, of course. Most importantly, neither is likely to attract much of a following. The music's complexity drove some musicians and potential fans away, making it "the vehicle for a new form of self-expression" for only "a small handful" of South Africans. Sammy Maritz, a Cape Town bassist who played with Ibrahim often, says that many musicians were "scared to play that music" and that those who did master it found it "difficult to transfer over to the people, the audiences." At the same time, its reliance on African-American styles and its reluctance to embrace local musical forms meant that many South Africans heard in it little that reflected their lives, histories, and cultures. This point was not lost on Ibrahim, even though it would be several years before he acted on it.
Despite its small audience, modern jazz perplexed the apartheid state, which attacked it (and less obscure jazz styles) relentlessly during the repression that followed the Sharpville massacre of March 1960. The police progressively shut down racially integrated nightclubs and enforced statutes which prohibited both black musicians from playing before white audiences and musicians of different races from performing together. Commercial pressures also undermined the jazz scene as consumers turned to rock and pop. Erza Ngcukana, a Cape Town jazz saxophonist, remembers that he "had to start playing in rock and roll bands to earn a living. It was horrible...." The Jazz Epistles broke up, and, in 1962, Ibrahim left South Africa for Switzerland and, eventually, the United States.
In the early 1960s, many South African musicians--black, white, and coloured--found themselves "pressured into exile, retirement, or an early grave." Ibrahim's exile was self-imposed and intermittent. He left South Africa in 1962, motivated, he has said, by artistic as well as political concerns. With the South African jazz scene dying, he felt creatively stifled. He was also, in his words, "subject to harassment and arrest, just like everybody else." He settled briefly in Zurich with his wife-to-be, the singer Sathima Bea Benjamin. Not long afterward, Duke Ellington heard Ibrahim and his trio perform and was captivated. He immediately arranged for a recording session in Paris. The resulting album, Duke Ellington Presents the Dollar Brand Trio, marked the emergence of a major new talent on the international scene. Despite the musicians' South African origins, or, perhaps, because it was recorded for the American and European markets, the influence of Thelonious Monk and Ellington himself shapes the group's sound. Little about the music is particularly South African.
By the mid-1960s, Ibrahim was living in New York City and had become acquainted with avant-garde exponents of free jazz, such as John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, Pharaoh Sanders, and Archie Shepp, and with beboppers such as Monk, Elvin Jones, and Max Roach. Although his income was as unsteady as any jazz musician's, he scored a number of professional successes. The New York Times published a glowing review of his Carnegie Recital Hall debut; the Rockefeller Foundation awarded him a grant to study composition with Hall Overton at the Juilliard School of Music; and, perhaps most impressively, he substituted for Duke Ellington, playing piano with the Ellington orchestra on five occasions in 1966, while the grand old man was in Los Angeles working on the soundtrack for the film Anatomy of a Murder.
Ibrahim had arrived in the United States at a particularly heated moment in the life of the nation and, in particular, the African-American community. Although the slogan "Black Power" had been heard before, it truly entered the American political vocabulary on 16 June 1966, when Stokely Carmichael shouted the words at a rally in Greenwood, Mississippi. The slogan resonated with both political and cultural meanings. On the one hand, it signaled African-American's desire to "control their own lives, destinies, and communities." On the other, it was an "affirmation of a positive black culture and identity" that had to be respected and preserved. Among the manifestations of this new wave of cultural nationalism was the Black Arts Movement. The movement was an "awakening" of a loose coalition of artists, writers, and musicians, who were united by a common "belief in the positive value of blackness." Jazz was its music.
Or jazz was at least the music of many of the writers and activists who made up the intellectual brain trust of the movement. For them, jazz (especially free jazz, the more inaccessible the better) was "the blackest of the arts." Cultural nationalists celebrated the music of Coltrane, Coleman, Cherry, Sanders, and Shepp, among others, men who were some of Ibrahim's closest collaborators. In an interview, Ibrahim remembered that "We were all like a close‑knit unit. ...we were all friends.... We practiced for many hours a day with a vengeance." The musicians themselves understood the relationship between culture and politics. Miles Davis once said of Coltrane: "Trane's music... represented, for many blacks, the fire and passion and rage and anger and rebellion and love that they felt...." Free jazz was certainly revolutionary, but it was deeply embedded in tradition as well. Musicians drew upon and celebrated the entire history of African-American music, from the spirituals, work songs, and blues of the nineteenth century to the contemporary soul and funk of James Brown and Aretha Franklin. In the midst of this cultural ferment was Abdullah Ibrahim, far from home and wondering what it all might mean for him and his music.
In South Africa, the "hipster breakaway" had had little time for South African music. Morris Goldberg, a jazz saxophone player and, at one time, a Cape Town hipster himself, remembered that "We were brainwashed....Everyone was trying to be like Americans...." Even Ibrahim, who, as a young musician, had played marabi and mbaqanga, vastrap and ticky-draai, performed only American-style jazz when he led his own bands or played solo piano in concert. But Goldberg, who was living in New York at the same time as Ibrahim and who frequently performed with him, found that the experience of living within a foreign culture, in and of itself, led him to reexamine his South African musical roots. "The awareness of what we had indigenously came slowly," he said, "when I was here [in New York City]." Ibrahim would have experienced a similar sense of displacement as Goldberg. But Goldberg, a white man, was not caught up in the black nationalist and revolutionary currents that swirled around Ibrahim. The questions that Ibrahim faced were more urgent. What, he would have wanted to know, were his blues? What were his spirituals? What were his roots?
Ibrahim answered these questions with a little cultural nationalism of his own. He began to incorporate coloured and African popular music and folk idioms in his own compositions. His 1967 concert at Carnegie Recital Hall is a case in point. Writing in the New York Times, John S. Wilson described Ibrahim (or Dollar Brand, as he was billed), as a musician "who mixes a strong instinct for jazz with his native musical heritage." In his music, Wilson heard "echoes of Duke Ellington and a wry touch of Thelonious Monk. But Mr. Brand kept getting back to the insistent rhythms, the dancing figures, and the chantlike melodic lines that derive from Africa." Goldberg, who joined Ibrahim for part of the concert, remembered that "the influences started in Cape Town."
Writing about a year later, after his return to South Africa, Ibrahim offered his own account of the concert. "After the first minute," he wrote, "everything fell into place." For him, the concert had been an extended improvisation on the historical experience of black South Africans and of the coloured people of Cape Town, in particular.
Everything flooded back. I played through District Six, up Hanover Street, Doug Arendse's little place in Caledon Street, the Coon Carnival, Windemere, children's songs, up Table Mountain, through the hills of Pondoland, my mother, father, sisters, brothers -- everything.
The history he evoked was both celebratory and tragic. The District Six neighborhood, abutting downtown Cape Town, had once been the spiritual heart of coloured South Africa, a symbol of resilience and creativity in the face of racial oppression. By the middle of the 1960s, it had become a symbol of the apartheid state's grotesque social engineering. At the time of the concert, the state was bulldozing its buildings and relocating its people to new townships, such as, yes, Manenburg, on the outskirts of city. The Coon Carnival, a mostly coloured and mostly working-class festival, traces its origins to, among other things, commemorations of the abolition of slavery, in the first half of the nineteenth century, and to the impact of visiting American blackface minstrel troupes, in the second half of that century. It was the Coons, as they were and are called, who sang the folk songs that Hugh Masekela remembers Ibrahim singing to his friends in private settings, although never on stage. Table Mountain and the hills of Pondoland were both shorthand for a landscape that is part of a Cape Town identity, in the first instance, and an African one, in the second.
Ibrahim's cultural nationalism was both specifically coloured and more broadly black South African. It aligned itself with the coloured and African working classes and embraced their cultures. He was slowly moving away from the abstract free jazz of the African-American avant-garde and toward a more accessible musical vocabulary. This was, in part, a matter of sheer expedience. "It got to the point where you couldn't eat; nobody wanted to listen." But it was also a political gesture. Concerned that his music had become too esoteric, he had begun to employ a musical language that was rooted in the working-class and traditional cultures of the South Africa. In this he had more in common with Miles Davis, who, by the late 1960s, was exploring African-American popular music, than with his erstwhile free jazz colleagues. Ibrahim was not pandering to his audience. He employed the language of popular music, but, in New York, he did not produce pop. Demanding the audience's undivided attention for nearly an hour, he was, first and foremost, an artist and not yet particularly accessible.
THE WORLD OF DOLLAR
A sense of personal and political crisis drove Ibrahim back to Cape Town in 1968. Years of smoking and drinking had battered his body. In New York, doctors and a Native American medicine woman both told him to "straighten up." And he did, entering a period of "cleaning" and embarking on a spiritual quest that began in New York City and culminated with his conversion to Islam, in Cape Town. He was also concerned about the health of his country. He saw himself as "the voice of the voiceless" and was determined to speak on their behalf. Dollar Brand, the hard-drinking, alienated hipster, had given up the bottle and returned home to adopt a new religion, change his name, and espouse an iconoclastic brand of cultural nationalism in music, poetry, and polemics. Capetonians, frankly, didn't know what to do with him.
Cape Herald, a local paper aimed at the coloured community, announced Ibrahim's return when it began to publish "The World of Dollar [Brand]," a series of articles by and about him. In the very first article, he declared that there was no reason for him to remain abroad; America could teach him nothing about music. "Everything," he said, "is here!" The point was not historically accurate. As he would later admit, he had learned quite a bit in the United States, but he wanted the Herald's readers to understand that everything needed to create and sustain a vital musical culture existed in South Africa. As things stood, he wrote in another article, South African music was both insipid and inauthentic. Ignoring the ways in which jazz musicians elsewhere in the country, such as Gideon Nxumalo and Philip Tabane had, for several years, been exploring South African idioms in their compositions, Ibrahim accused South African musicians of being too interested in merely imitating Americans and Europeans. They should, instead, explore their own musical roots, the "sacred" and "beautiful" music that grew in the African soil. This was the only source that could produce a vital and authentic South African sound.
Ibrahim could overlook Nxumalo and Tabane because his primary audience was local. While his rhetoric encompassed all South African musicians and while his subject was music, he was, in fact, addressing the Cape Town jazz community, especially coloured musicians, and the coloured community as a whole. In some articles, Ibrahim did address the coloured community directly. He insisted that coloured people who were ashamed of their folk traditions--"the doekums and the Coons"--were, by extension, ashamed of themselves. He urged them to see their culture and themselves through his eyes. If they did, they would see that they were "all beautiful." "Look around you and see yourself," he wrote. "You are my music. My music is you." The music that he had in mind were his new compositions that he had begun to create in New York. He wrote of the ways in which they drew on virtually the entire musical universe of coloureds and Africans: the jazz of Kippie Moeketsi, the ghoema beat and minstrel tunes of the Coon Carnival, "Shangaan and Venda and Pedi" folk songs, the Malay choirs of Cape Town's coloured Muslims.... It was meant to be a suggestive list, not an exhaustive one. He wanted to embrace the entire nation, perhaps including whites, likening its people and their cultures to the protea, the national flower, which flourished in South Africa, but could survive only in greenhouses in foreign climes. The protea also stood in for Ibrahim himself. In exile, he said, he found it "hard to play naturally." In South Africa, on the other hand, "the music just flows.... You don't have to force yourself." Having reinvented himself and his music, Ibrahim was now inventing a radically innovative cultural identity, once coloured and inclusively South African, at once.
Ibrahim's articles seem to have had no impact at all. Looking back, the Cape Town jazz impresario Rashid Lombard said that Ibrahim was far ahead of his time. "Abdullah was one hundred percent right," but no one "could comprehend" what he was saying. Coloured intellectuals and activists instinctively recoiled from appeals to racial and ethnic particularity. In the absence of any direct criticism of apartheid, his celebration of distinctive coloured and African cultures seemed to resonate with the apartheid state's efforts to reinforce ethnic and racial divisions in order to keep blacks weak and divided. Politically engaged coloureds and the coloured middle class would have hesitated to embrace the Coon Carnival because they were, as Ibrahim suggested, ashamed of this and other aspects of working-class culture. But they had a political critique of the Carnival, as well. Many viewed it as nothing more than "a show which reflect[ed] and confirm[ed] the subordination of its performers," an "annual act of debasement." Few coloureds of any class would have responded to his call to identify with Africans and African cultures. As Mohamed Adhikari points out, "only a tiny minority" of coloureds were interested in anything resembling black unity. Most were determined to maintain their social and physical distance from Africans. Finally, it certainly did not help Ibrahim's cause that he published the articles in the Herald, a newspaper which devoted much of its ink to vivid descriptions of murder and rape and to effusive praise of conservative coloured politicians who collaborated with apartheid.
Musically, Ibrahim fared no better. Neither audiences nor musicians were prepared for music which blurred distinctions between high art and popular entertainment and which seemed to look back to a provincial and slightly embarrassing past, rather than forward to a progressive and cosmopolitan future. His new music was perplexing and, in the words of one Cape Town musician, "rubbish." Another called it "a lot of trash." Ibrahim himself has said that he couldn't get Cape Town musicians to play his new music because they were still too invested in emulating American jazz. Believing themselves to be, in Ibrahim's words, "sophisticated jazz musicians," they felt that anything related to folk and working-class music was "culturally and socially beyond their dignity." Duke Ngcukana, a local musician who played, briefly, in one of Ibrahim's bands, said much the same thing about himself. In the late 1960s, he once "walked out" on Ibrahim because he did not want to play "African music, so to speak, which, for us, at that time, was below [American jazz]...."
Audiences were equally bemused. The Cape Town jazz singer Zelda Benjamin remembers an occasion when Ibrahim sat in on one of her gigs at the Beverley, a nightclub catering to largely to coloureds, and improvised on some moppies, comic songs sung during Carnival by the Coons. A angry voice from the audience interrupted, saying, "Hey, man, play some music." At another time, Ibrahim treated patrons at the Kensington Inn, a coloured nightclub in the neighborhood in which he grew up, to "seemingly disconnected flights across the keyboard." After 15 minutes of this "non-stop, never-heard-before" music, they began to stand up and leave. Soon afterwards, Ibrahim himself "abruptly left the platform and walked off the premises," prompting Drum magazine to ask "Is Dollar's Brittle Genius Cracking Up?"
With engagements few and far between, Ibrahim was unable to support his family and felt compelled to return to the United States. When he left South Africa, in 1969, the Herald mourned the departure of "The Genius We Rejected." He told the paper that he was going back to New York, "where the only people who can understand my music live." In an interview with Drum, he linked his rejection by coloured audiences to their failure to come to terms with their own identity. "[T]here have been very few concerts where I have been able to allow myself complete freedom in communicating with those who have come to hear me," he said. "In order to understand and appreciate my message," coloured people had to "look within themselves and understand their own consciousness and the reason for their being. Once over this hurdle, appreciation of what I play becomes the next natural step." He contrasted the situation that he had found in Cape Town to that which he had experienced in New York. In the United States, the suffering of African-Americans "gave rise to some of the most beautiful blues music in the world...." In South Africa, however, "there has been no reaction musically to our oppression. The local compositions reflect the character of the people--they are shallow, empty, lacking in sincerity and completely commercialized." Less than a year and a half after declaring that "There's nothing out there. Everything's here," Ibrahim was gone.
MANNENBERG: THE ICON
Sometime in the early 1970s, Ibrahim, who was temporarily back in South Africa, walked into Kohinoor, Rashid Vally's small but bustling record shop on Kort Street, in downtown Johannesburg, and introduced himself. Although he had never met Vally, he knew him by reputation. Vally's passion for jazz and friendship with many musicians had made Kohinoor a legendary hangout for jazz lovers. It was also one of the few public spaces in the city where people of different races could mix comfortably. Ibrahim also knew that Vally had a successful sideline producing langarm dance band music for the coloured market. He wanted Vally, he said, to record him. Vally, who had been following Ibrahim's career since the 1950s, happily agreed.
It was in some ways a likely match, since the lives of both men revolved around music. Both were also Muslim, the one from birth and the other a recent convert. While they were, under apartheid law, members of different races --Vally was classified as Indian and Ibrahim as coloured--in practice, this presented few obstacles to their collaboration. Their temperments were complementary as well, with the moody, imperious Ibrahim balanced by the easy-going, genial Vally.
The first fruits of the partnership were two albums recorded in 1971, one of which reunited Ibrahim with Kippie Moeketsi, the ex-Jazz Epistle. Neither sold more than 2,000 copies - enough for Vally to recover his costs, but far too few to constitute a hit or make much of a cultural impact. The third album, Underground in Africa, recorded in early 1974, was different. Ibrahim moved decisively away from the demanding synthesis of free jazz and local idioms that had so bewildered Cape Town audiences. He wanted, he said, to make music "which the people understand." Working with a group of Cape Town musicians whose experience was playing rock and soul, not jazz, he produced a very accessible fusion of jazz, rock, and a variety of South African popular musical forms. The album sold well, and The World, Johannesburg's largest "black" newspaper, called it "Dollar Brand's best LP to date." Noting that he had shifted from "serious jazz" into "the jazz-rock scene," the paper praised him for no longer being "a musician... who plays [only] for himself." He had finally become "really funky."
Ibrahim's embrace of jazz-rock fusion, as it was called, may have surprised those who knew him, but it was not without precedent. Miles Davis, whose stature in the American jazz community was beyond dispute, was, in the late 1960s, one of the first jazz musicians to blend jazz with rock, soul, and funk. Jazz-rock fusion quickly became a major commercial genre. By 1973, Herbie Hancock's Head Hunters, a fusion album, became the biggest selling jazz recording of all time. Ibrahim, who was still based in New York, would have been intimately aware of these developments. While the sound of Underground in Africa had a distinctly South African twist, it also owed much to prominent American fusion bands of the day, such as Return to Forever and Weather Report.
Ibrahim could not have created this South African jazz-rock fusion by himself. He required the help of musicians who were as steeped in the traditions of the popular music of the day--rock, soul, disco, and funk--as he was in jazz. He found nearly ideal collaborators in Oswietie, a Cape Town band that was having great success in local clubs, playing covers of American and British pop hits and its own highly danceable blend of jazz, rock, and soul. When it came to producing Underground in Africa's "really funky" sound, it was Oswietie that made it happen. These musicians also shared with Ibrahim a fluency in the musical vocabulary of the local idioms that he was bringing into his compositions. Robbie Jansen, a member of Oswietie, said that learning to play local music was as important a part of his musical education as learning to play rock and soul. "Marabi, kwela, mbaqanga.... I knew all that stuff." It did not matter that he and the other members of Oswietie were coloured. Band leaders expected working musicians to be competent in a variety of popular styles, including those that came out of African communities.
The recording sessions that produced Underground in Africa also marked the beginning of Ibrahim's enduring relationship with Jansen and Basil Coetzee, another of Oswietie's saxophone players. He became especially close to Coetzee, his "blue-eyed boy." Ibrahim has described the way that he and Coetzee took on the "massive task" of inventing a new musical genre. Having no models to fall back on, they had to "to create the letter, the word, the sentence, the whole story...." In fact, it was not so much a new genre as an extension of the musical experimentation that Ibrahim had begun in New York and a refinement of the sound on Underground in Africa. It became the Cape Town sound.
Ibrahim spent the next few months working on new compositions and preparing for his next recording session. He asked Coetzee to put the backup band together and asked Vally to foot the bill. Coetzee assembled a band that included Jansen and several other members of Cape Town's coloured jazz-rock community, although only Coetzee and Jansen had played on Underground in Africa. Renting the studio, hiring the engineers, and paying the musicians put Vally deeply into debt. He was hoping for a hit, but never knew what to expect with Ibrahim. Ibrahim arrived at the studio with an armful of scores. Knowing that most of the musicians couldn't read music, he invited Morris Goldberg, who did read music and who happened to be in Cape Town visiting his family, to join the sessions and help him teach the compositions to the others.
Several days of recording produced enough material to fill four or five albums, although most of it has never been released. Three or four days into the sessions, Ibrahim sat down at an old upright piano and, setting his scores aside, began to improvise. The piano had been prepared with thumbtacks in the hammers, giving the instrument a metallic timbre that was associated with marabi. Ibrahim has said that the sound "transported" him back to the music that he heard at rent parties in his youth. As he played, he signaled first Coetzee and then the others to join in, suggesting lines and rhythms for them to play, but also allowing them the freedom to find their way in the collective improvisation. Within a few minutes, Ibrahim was ready to record. As they played, the musicians began to realize that the music they were creating was, in Jansen's words, "very special." "We felt a magic. ...We just couldn't stop, and it felt good. ...We were recording [for] days, but none of those days ever felt like this." After only one or two takes, they were done.
The immediate question was what to call this new work of art. Ibrahim told the group that as they were playing, he had a vision of an elderly woman walking down a street in one of the townships. When Goldberg mentioned that he was going to visit his family's former housekeeper, Gladys Williams, in Manenberg, Ibrahim said, "Yeah, man, that's a great title: 'Mrs. Williams from Mannenberg.'" In the event, Vally released the LP under the more marketable title Mannenberg is Where It's Happening and called the title song simply "Mannenberg." But a photograph of Gladys Williams, made by Ibrahim himself, adorned the cover of the LP and of the subsequent CD re-release.
Back in Johannesburg, Vally began to play the "Mannenberg" acetates on loudspeakers outside of Kohinoor even before the LP was released. When people rushed in and demanded to know who was playing and when they lingered outside the shop listening to the music and dancing, he knew he had a hit on his hands. Once the LPs had been pressed, he sold 5,000 copies in a week, an enormous number for a jazz album in South Africa. While a second song, "The Pilgrim," filled out the LP, "Mannenberg" was the song people wanted to hear. Vally knew that he did not have the "financial muscle" to distribute the record nationwide, so he made a deal with Peter Gallo of Gallo Records, South Africa's largest record company. With Gallo's help, 43,000 copies of the LP were sold, in South Africa alone, within seven months of its release. In Cape Town, the Herald took great pride in this native son and said that the record's sales were "something to crow about." At a time when the sale 20,000 copies was enough to make even a rock song a hit, Mannenberg is Where It's Happening was a spectacular success.
"Mannenberg's" popularity success was due to a variety of factors. It certainly helped that, as the jazz pianist Moses Molelekoa once said, it was "a dance song, a party song [like] most of the jazz that was coming out at that period." It had an irresistible hook--its beautiful melody. It was driven by an infectious, danceable beat. And it was an intriguingly unfamiliar combination of familiar ingredients--the groove was marabi, the beat resembled ticky-draai (or, perhaps, a lazy ghoema, depending on who was listening), the sound of the saxophones was langarm, and the underlying aesthetic was jazz. Most South African listeners--African, coloured, and white--had something familiar to cling to and something exotic to be excited about. If some had the fleeting impression of having heard the song before, it might have been for a good reason."Mannenberg's" melody bears a strong resemblance to "Jackpot," a mbaqanga tune that the Johannesburg saxophonist Zacks Nkosi recorded in about 1960. In 2006, South Africa's Sunday Times reported that Nkosi and his son, who was also a musician, "went to their graves believing that 'Mannenberg' was a rip-off of 'Jackpot.'" A number of other Johannesburg musicians have, over the years, supported Nkosi's claim of authorship. "Mannenberg" was, however, much more than an mbaqanga melody, and the sum of its parts makes it anything but a rip-off. Its unique combination of musical vocabularies and idioms, rooted in South Africa, yet aware of international trends, helped to make it "the most iconic" composition in South African jazz history.
Within the Cape Town coloured community, the elements that came together in "Mannenberg" added layers of meaning to its iconic status. It became an icon of the community as a whole. The record featured a local-boy-made-good, Abdullah Ibrahim, who was feted in the jazz capitals of the world. Coetzee, Jansen, and the other musicians had become local nightclub favorites. The name of the song referred to a township that had already become a symbol of both the dispossession and the endurance of the coloured community. The sweet, reedy timbre of the saxophones--Basil Coetzee and Robbie Jansen, both of whom were coloured, and the initially uncredited Morris Goldberg, a white Capetonian--unmistakably linked the song to the sound of the coloured langarm dance bands. There was something in the drumming that reminded people of ghoema and the Coons. Jansen felt that the musical factors were the most important. Coloured people, he said, were "aware that it's their music. ...They feel it's part of them." For Ibrahim, the title, the sound, and the musicians combined to signal to coloureds that "...it's our music, and it's our culture...." The song's success was an "affirmation... that our inherent culture is valid."
It needs to be emphasized that "Mannenberg" reflected rather precisely the musical attributes that Ibrahim extolled in his Herald articles of 1968 and 1969. It incorporated the folk elements that, five or six years earlier, had evoked a sense of shame, especially among the musically and politically progressive. Why were people now prepared to embrace langarm, ticky-draai, and even marabi, which came out of African communities, not the coloured community? Part of the answer is, of course, that Ibrahim himself had changed. He had said that he wanted to make music "which the people understand," and he did, backing away from the demanding inaccessibility that had been his hallmark. But the coloured community had changed as well. It was now more willing to see the value of folk and popular traditions, their own and those of Africans. To a degree, this was due to the spread of Black Consciousness ideas.
First emerging in the late 1960s, Black Consciousness had changed the political climate within portions of the coloured community, especially the better educated youth. Drawing in part on African-American Black Power slogans and ideology, activists within the Black Consciousness movement believed that their "primary task" "was to 'conscientize' black people, which meant giving them a sense of pride or belief in their own strength and worthiness." Among other things, this involved asserting the value, dignity, and beauty of indigenous and working-class black cultures. Because Black Consciousness redefined "black" to include coloureds and South Africans of Indian descent, as well as Africans, an identification with blackness encouraged coloureds to reappraise of those aspects of their culture which had formerly seemed to be retrograde and shameful. But it is easy to over-estimate the impact of Black Consciousness. Robbie Jansen, for instance, knew hardly any advocates of Black Consciousness. The few he met were university students, part of a tiny minority of coloured youth who went beyond secondary school. But Jansen did accept that to be coloured was to be black, part of an oppressed community engaged in struggle for freedom. And he believed that black was beautiful. It was, he said, "the American influence," the influence of African-American popular culture.
The music, clothing, and hair styles of black America taught Jansen and young coloured people of his generation that "it was the in thing to be black, and people started to be proud of being black." This was hardly the first time that coloured people had looked to the United States for models of blackness. After all, this is precisely what Ibrahim and "the hipster breakaway" had done. Many coloured people knew that similar histories of slavery, oppression, cultural assimilation, and permanent minority status within white supremacist nations linked them to the African-Americans experience. While coloureds were drawn to black Americans, there were forces within South African culture which pushed them away from Africans. Rashid Lombard saw how the "divide and rule" strategy of the apartheid state had been "so effective" that a chasm of distrust and suspicion separated the coloured and African communities. The road to blackness, for him and his friends, was smoother through Harlem than through Gugulethu, the African township just on the other side of the tracks from Manenberg.
Consider the "Afro." By the late 1960s, this hairstyle, also called the "natural," had become the emblem of black pride, the new black American assertiveness associated with Black Power. African-Americans, young and old, male and female, grew their hair long, emphasizing its tight, African curls. It was a reversal of earlier attitudes that defined "good hair" as straight, "white-looking" hair and "bad hair" as kinky, "black-looking" hair. Millions of African-Americans, from political figures, such as Angela Davis and Huey Newton, to cultural heroes, such as Sly Stone and Michael Jackson, to ordinary men and women and boys and girls adopted the style.
By the mid-1970s, the Afro had come to coloured Cape Town. So many coloured people were wearing Afros that even the Herald, that most politically timid of newspapers, felt free to sponsor an "Afros for Africa" contest. It offered advice on how to grow and care for a good looking Afro and published the photos of the entrants. The scores of coloured teenagers and young adults who entered were radicals, in their way. They had turned the politics of hair upside down. Most coloured people, up to this point, had gloried in their straight hair, if they had it, and desired it, if they didn't. Now, for the first time, hair that was associated with blackness was desirable. For many, the Afro was the "sign and symbol" of a new identification as "black."
Afro had come to Cape Town by way of African-American popular culture, especially soul music. Newspapers, magazines, and album covers all depicted black American soul musicians wearing their hair "natural." Responding to reader interest, the Herald had, since the late 1960s, profiled soul performers and promoted their music. It even acknowledged the politics of soul, explaining that its roots lay in the "suffering" of the African-American people and declaring that "The Sound is Black and Very Beautiful." As Brian Ward has convincingly argues, the "actual sound and texture" of soul music, its deep embrace of the African-American musical tradition and its disregard for white American traditions, carried a message of black pride. Cultural aspects of African-American blackness, such as music and hair styles, provided a safe passage to blackness for coloured South Africans, instilling within them a sense of pride and allowing them to see themselves as beautiful, without having, necessarily, to move physically or psychologically closer to African South Africans.
Changing political and cultural trends prepared the coloured community for "Mannenberg." It presented coloured listeners with a sound that resonated deeply with their history and experience and yet was utterly contemporary. Much about the song, especially its sensibility and the very sound of the saxophones, was uniquely and recognizably coloured. What had begun as an improvisation in a recording studio became a community icon. Instead of Ibrahim's portrait of a lady, the community had made it a portrait of themselves.
MANNENBERG: THE ANTHEM
An icon is not necessarily an anthem. The symbol of a people is not necessarily the emblem of their struggle for freedom. The song's transformation into an anthem had little to do with Ibrahim, who left South Africa again in 1975. It is true that Ibrahim raised his political profile, in the 1980s, playing benefit concerts for the African National Congress [ANC] and in other ways closely identifying with the freedom struggle, and that local reporting of these activities allowed fans of "Mannenberg" to feel that they were somehow linked to the ANC in exile. But Ibrahim remained distant and elusive. Much closer to home, musicians were taking "Mannenberg" to the people. These musicians politicized the song by playing it at the innumerable rallies and concerts, linking it directly to the anti-apartheid politics of the United Democratic Front [UDF] and other progressive organizations. Without the work of these musicians--Basil Coetzee and Robbie Jansen, first and foremost--"Mannenberg" might well have remained an icon of South African jazz, the Cape Town sound, and the coloured community, but not an anthem.
By the early 1980s, it was common to refer to Coetzee as Basil "Manenberg" Coetzee. According to Errol Dyers, one of Coetzee's closest musical collaborators, Ibrahim gave him the nickname by which he was to be known to fans for the rest of his life. This would certainly make sense. Coetzee was living in Manenberg when he and Ibrahim began to work together; he was the first soloist on the album; and, as many Capetonians will point out, he was a mountain [berg] of a man. He was also an astute man with a highly developed political consciousness. When political activists asked him to contribute his musical skills to the struggle, he was ready to accept. In 1982, for instance, Grassroots, an anti-apartheid newspaper, reported on a concert where artists "sang our songs... [and] told the story of our suffering." Among them was Coetzee: "'Mannenberg is Where It's Happening!' This was the message of Basil Coetzee and his saxophone when he played... this song which has become a symbol of our hardship." Coetzee was there to play "the popular 'Manenberg' [sic]," during the youth festival that accompanied the national launch of the UDF, in August 1983. At a 1985 benefit concert for "Famine Relief and Victims of Unrest," "madness reigned supreme among the responsive crowd," when Robbie Jansen joined Coetzee for a performance of "Mannenberg."
Jansen's role in making "Mannenberg" an anthem of the struggle seems to have been as important as Coetzee's. Hilton Schilder and Errol Dyers, both of whom played at many rallies and benefit concerts with Coetzee and Jansen, remember the way that Jansen would speak in a deep, soulful voice when "Mannenberg" was played. According to Schilder, he would tell the crowd "what's happening" and talk to them about "rising up" and "being... proud of our own stuff." Jansen himself said that he could "preach from the stage. ...politicize and create an awareness of change...." Jansen and Coetzee did not transform the icon into the anthem by themselves. While giving them the lion's share of the credit, Errol Dyers, for instance, has described the way that politically active musicians, collectively, "...put it in their faces that this would be the anthem for... fighting this apartheid thing."
Politically sophisticated musicians understood that "Mannenberg" could be a vehicle of political mobilization and the symbol of a collective fight against apartheid. Over and over again, during the 1980s, the music that they made and the message that they attached to it was the soundtrack to rallies and concerts at which thousands of people reaffirmed their commitment to the struggle for freedom. Cape Town musician Gus Ntlokwana was no doubt correct when he said that it is "too heavy a statement" to claim, as some have done, that "Mannenberg" was "unofficial national anthem" of all South Africa. But it was very much the anti-apartheid anthem of Cape Town.
. Many people have contributed to this essay. I am especially grateful to Rashid Vally, Robbie Jansen, and Morris Goldberg for sharing their memories of the "Mannenberg" recording session with me. Thanks also to the Interdisciplinary Seminar, School of the Arts, University of the Witwatersrand; the South African and Contemporary History Seminar, University of the Western Cape; the McIntire Department of Music, University of Virginia; and the 2006 Gwendolen M. Carter Conference, University of Florida, for inviting me to present earlier versions of this essay. Vincent Kolbe, David Coplan, Lara Allen, and Scott DeVeaux must be singled out for special thanks.
. Rashid Vally, interviews with author, 23 July 2005 and 18 February 2007; Robbie Jansen, interviews with author, 8 August 2005 and 17 January 2006; Morris Goldberg, interview and personal communications with author, 13 October 2006, 17 June 2007, and 18 June 2007. See, also, Rasmussen, 2000. On Ibrahim's standing in the South African jazz community, see, The World [Johannesburg], 23 January 1974, p. 1.
. Mandla Langa, quoted in Ansell, p. 153.
. Jaggi; see, also, Coplan, p. 193; Ansell, p. 153.
. Zayne Adams, interview with author, 25 January 2007.
. "Our Expression: Our Music, Dancing, Poetry, Art....," Grassroots, November 1982, p. 15.
. The paper is also a commentary on the some of ways in which the coloured community used African-American music and ideas as vehicles to define and redefine their own identity. This important subject has been all but ignored in studies of coloured identity. See, Adhikari, Erasmus, and Western. O'Toole's examines the two communities comparatively, but and does not consider the impact of the one on the other. Van Wyk does touch on the impact of African-American culture in his 2004 memoir.
. Rasmussen, 2001: p. 17.
. Masekela and Cheers, p. 104; Jordan.
. Rasmussen, 2001: p. 11.
. Masekela, pp. 94, 102.
. The Jazz Epistles, Jazz Epistle: Verse 1, Gallo CDZAC 56 R [reissue].
. Johannesburg had its hipsters, but the jazz scene seems to have been much less interracial. On Johannesburg, see Coplan, pp. 148-49.
. Dyantyi, pp. 26-29.
. "Kippie--Sad Man of Jazz."
. Coplan, pp. 190-91.
. Vincent Kolbe, interview, in Rasmussen, 2003: p. 110; Zelda Benjamin, interview, in Rasmussen, 2003: p. 39.
. Although not, interestingly, "new coloured." A new coloured identity would not emerge for well over a decade.
. Maya Jaggi, "The Sound of Freedom," The Guardian, 8 December 2001.
. Sammy Maritz, interview, in Rasmussen, 2003: pp. 128-29.
. On 21 March 1960, South African police fired on a peaceful demonstration called by the Pan-Africanist Congress. Sixty-nine people died; hundreds were injured. Briefly shaken, the apartheid state responded with massive repression, outlawing the liberation movements and imprisoning hundreds.
. Layne, pp. 121-22; Haupt, p. 174.
. The Dollar Brand Trio, Duke Ellington Presents the Dollar Brand Trio, Reprise R9-6111 (1964). Brand, 14 September 1968; Rasmussen, 2001: pp. 17, 24; Jaggi.
. The American jazz magazine Downbeat noticed much the same thing about Ibrahim's playing. In an article published after the album had been recorded, it noted that he had Aquite obviously" been influenced by Monk, but added that his Aapproach is nevertheless personal and independent." [Reprinted as liner notes to Duke Ellington Presents the Dollar Brand Trio].
. Wilson, p. 80. Brand, 21 September 1968; 12 October 1968; 7 September 1968.
. Julius Lester, quoted in Fredrickson, p. 294.
. Fredrickson, p. 290.
. Morris Goldberg, interview with author, 13 October 2006.
. Zayne Adams, interview with author, 25 January 2007; Zelda Benjamin, interview with author, 29 January 2007.
. Morris Goldberg, interview with author, 13 October 2006.
. Wilson described as "a superbly supple tenor saxophonist, who added great deal of color and flavor to one of Mr. Brand's most charming tunes." See Wilson. Morris Goldberg, interview with author, 13 October 2006.
. Brand, Cape Herald, 21 September 1968.
. Manenberg, the township, is spelled with two "n's." "Mannenberg," the song, has been spelled with three ever since its release, even though the title refers to the township.
. See, for instance, Martin.
. In the United States, the word "coon" is a nasty racial epithet. Although the term came to South Africa through blackface minstrelsy, with its associated racial mockery, the word does not have the same connotations in South Africa. In 2007, most members of the Pennsylvania Crooning Minstrels, Cape Town minstrel troupe of which I am a member, and most members of other troupes that I have met unreservedly refer to themselves as "Coons."
. Brand, 21 September 1968. See also, Wilson. Readers can get a sense of what his Carnegie Recital Hall concert sounded like by listening to African Sketchbook, recorded and released, in 1969 [Enja 2026], and recently rereleased on CD [Enja CD 2026-2].
. Drum, 22 September 1974, p. 35; Brand, 27 July 1968; Jaggi. Ibrahim gave up his birth name, Adolphus "Dollar" Brand, upon his conversion to Islam.
.Jaggi. Several of Ibrahim's poems from the period can be found in Pieterse).
. "Dollar Starts School."
. Coplan, pp. 189-90, suggests that they, too, found inspiration in the example of African-American musicians of the era. In general, however, the black jazz community in Johannesburg seems to have long had fewer inhibitions about embracing local musical traditions than the jazz community in Cape Town.
. Brand, 24 August 1968.
. Brand, 27 July 1968 and 24 August 1968.
. Brand, 27 July 1968.
. Brand, 16 November 1968.
. None of the many Cape Town musicians, music promoters, or political activists that I have interviewed remember the articles.
. Rashid Lombard, interview with author, 5 February 2007.
. Anderson, p. 103; Martin, p. 127.
. Adhikari, p. 11. This point has been made many times. See, from the period, O'Toole, pp. 27-33.
. Peacock, interview, in Rasmussen, 2003: p. 253.
. Zelda Benjamin, interview with author, 29 January 2007.
. Sue Valentine, interview with Abdullah Ibrahim.
. Duke Ngcukana, interview with author, 24 January 2007.
. Zelda Benjamin, interview with author, 29 January 2007.
. "Genius We Rejected," p. 9. [Emphasis in original.]
. "Dollar's Farewell."
. Rashid Vally, interview with author, 18 February 2007.
. Rashid Vally, interview with author, 18 February 2007; Rasmussen, 2000: pp. 40-41, 63.
. Underground in Africa, Mandla KRS 114; rereleased in 1996, The Sun CDSRK(WL) 786143.
. "New Brand of Brand," pp. 34-35.
. Interestingly, Ibrahim remained his demanding, inaccessible self on albums that he recorded in the United States and in Europe. See, for instance, Dollar Brand [sic], African Space Program, Enja 2032. While he was greatly admired by jazz fans the world over, his music became truly popular only in South Africa and, there, it was his jazz-rock fusion music that audiences craved.
. "Dollar's Own Brand of Jazz Music."
. Szwed, pp. 262-63. It remained the biggest selling jazz album until at least the early 1990s. Head Hunters has been rereleased on CD as Columbia/Legacy CK 65123
. Robbie Jansen, interview with author, 8 August 2005.
. Errol Dyers, interview with author, 23 January 2007.
. Abdullah Ibrahim, interview with Sue Valentine, nd.
. The information in this paragraph comes from Abdullah Ibrahim, interview with Sue Valentine, nd; Rashid Vally, interviews with author, 23 July 2005 and 18 February 2007; Robbie Jansen, interviews with author, 8 August 2005 and 17 January 2006; Morris Goldberg, interview with author, 13 October 2006.
. Vally, interview with author, 23 July 2005; Rasmussen, 2000: p. 63.
. Abdullah Ibrahim, interview with Sue Valentine, nd.
. Jansen, interview with author, 17 January 2006.
. Rashid Vally, interviews with author, 23 July 2005 and 18 February 2007; Morris Goldberg, interview with author, 13 October 2006.
. Rashid Vally, interviews with author, 23 July 2005 and 18 February 2007; Robbie Jansen, interviews with author, 8 August 2005 and 17 January 2006; Morris Goldberg, interview with author, 13 October 2006.
. Rashid Vally, interviews with author, 23 July 2005 and 18 February 2007; "Dollar: Aiming for 50,000."
. Moses Molelekoa, quoted in Ansell, p. 153.
. Zacks Nkosi, "Jackpot," HMV JP 602.
. Gerald Samuel "Mac" McKenzie, interview with author, 15 January 2007. See, also, "Skollies are Winning the 'Battle of Manenberg.'"
. Robbie Jansen, interview with author, 17 January 2006. [Jansen's emphasis.]
. Abdullah Ibrahim, interview with Sue Valentine, nd.
. "The New Brand of Brand."
. Rashid Lombard speaks of reading pirated copies of works by Angela Davis, Eldridge Cleaver, Malcolm X, and Huey Newton. [Interview with author, 5 February 2007.]
. Fredrickson, p. 302.
. Mohamed Adhikari, p. 131, contends that Black Consciousness took root in the coloured community only after the 1976 student uprisings.
. Robbie Jansen, interview with author, 17 January 2007.
. Robbie Jansen, interview with author, 17 January 2007. Steve Biko, the Black Consciousness leader, also understood the importance of African-American popular culture in shaping attitudes toward blackness outside of the United States. In I Write What I Like (p. 46) he argues that Awhen soul struck with its all-engulfing rhythm it immediately caught on and set hundreds of millions of black bodies in gyration throughout the world. These were people reading in soul the real meaning--the defiant message 'say it loud! I'm black and I'm proud. This is fast becoming our modern culture. A culture of defiance, self-assertion and group pride and solidarity. Just as it now finds expression in our music and dress, it will spread to other aspects."
. Rashid Lombard, interview with author, 5 February 2007.
. Van Deburg, pp. 17-18, 201-02.
. "If You Want to Get Ahead Get an Afro"; AAfros for Africa."
. Rashid Lombard, interview with author, 5 February 2007.
. See, for instance, Hipcat and "The Sound is Black and Very Beautiful."
. "Dollar Goes West Yet Again."
. See, for instance, "Botswana Conference Look at Our Culture" and "Play on Dollar-There's a Message in Your Music." See, also, Horn. Rashid Lombard, interview with author, 5 February 2007.
. Vincent Kolbe, interview with author, 10 January 2006; Alvin Dyers, interview with author, 18 January 2006; Hilton Schilder, interview with author, 18 January 2006.
. Errol Dyers, interview with author, 23 January 2007.
. Errol Dyers, interview with author, 23 January 2007; Rashid Lombard, interview with author, 5 February 2007.
. "Our Expression: Our Music, Dancing, Poetry, Art... [sic]."
. Plainsman, supplement to the Cape Herald, 20 August 1983, p. 2.
. Hilton Schilder, interview with author, 18 January 2006; Errol Dyers, interview with author, 23 January 2007.
. Robbie Jansen, interview with author, 17 January 2006.
. Errol Dyers, interview with author, 23 January 2007.
. Gus Ntlokwana, interview with author, 14 February 2007.
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John Edwin Mason teaches African history and the history of photography at
the University of Virginia. He is the author of Social Death and
Resurrection: Slavery and Emancipation in South Africa (2003) and many
articles and reviews on South African history, jazz, and popular culture.
He is pursuing two multi-year documentary photography projects, one on drag
racing in the American South and the other on the New Year Carnival in Cape
Town. He is also an active freelance musician and a member of the French
horn section of the Lynchburg (Virginia) Symphony Orchestra.
Reference Style: The following is the suggested format for referencing this article: John Edwin Mason. " 'Mannenberg': Notes on the Making of an Icon and Anthem" African Studies Quarterly 9, no.4: [online] URL: http://web.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v9/v9i4a3.htm