Hay’kabi, I’m not trying to lose any of my uptown, English blog followers but do ALLOW us hoodrats to do our thing on this one. This doesn’t happen often. Now that we’ve got that out the way…
Some men speak and ja, bakhulumile; we quickly move on. Then there are those who, when they open their mouths, your automatic response is to keep calm, STFU, grab a chair, listen and appreciate. I tell you: Makhafula Vilakazi, real name Matodzi Ramashia, is the latter type of ninja. His voice commands you to sit down, quickly. On Blog Vibes – Vol. 3, I share my bumpy joyride while listening to his juice.
I sat down to Makhafula Vilakazi’s poetic explosion entitled ‘I’M NOT GOING BACK TO THE TOWNSHIP’ last week. The title hit home with me because, hoodrat that I am, I haven’t lived in a township since 1997 and I’m not exactly trying to go back either.
At first, I had my doubts when an angelic female voice launched into a chorus of ‘Ngicela sithandane’. I thought: Here we go with those I-love-Africa-Lion-King do’s. Beng’phapha. I was sold when Makhafula started spitting via bo ma: “My name is Glen Dlamini. Glen Magalagala. Glen Madustbin. Glen never clean, never married, never employed, Glen never own a thing. Glen Mavelabashalazele.” This ninja, Glen.
Madiba once said that one should speak to a person in that person’s own language so that the message would go to that person’s heart. Makhafula Vilakazi far exceeds this notion because he doesn’t only speak a poetic language that everyone understands; he speaks of a life that all South Africans who have experienced the township can relate to. His poetry is not sophisticated and filled with clean, neat rhymes; it’s rugged, it’s raw, it’s emotional and passionate. It’s all over the place and yet organised, not too different to the township he has a love/hate relationship with.
In the poem ‘I’m not going back to the township’, Makhafula takes us down a familiar township street where people blame unemployment on witchcraft, there’s a tuck shop with green-speckled margarine on sale, drunkards wander about, there is an after-school fight, families live on government grants, BEE colour-blockers run wild in their tight shirts and big bellies and there’s a hood abortionist who does a quick job of unwanted pregnancies. Makhafula highlights a lot of the things that have become the norm ekasi and as such, socially accepted as characteristic of the township. Sadly, not many of these ghetto traits are positive or especially inspiring to young men who aspire to become great leaders, fathers, lovers and brothers.
Izinto zase lok’shini. – image – memegenerator.net
Makhafula Vilakazi has this love and romance gig on lock on track no. 6, ‘Sambrella’. Ladies, when your man drops lines like Makhafula does on ‘Sambrella’, you can be certain of two things; you are a breathtakingly strong and amazing woman and, the poor ninja has learned his lesson.
Makhafula is the spokesperson for all the ninjas who have fallen for the “humble ghetto queen” who “turned out to be a sour, elastic, very wet lie”, men who know the ‘stina’ struggle. In the beginning of the third track ‘Ungipatrekile’, the courtship is cute until u-sistaz develops a severe case of ‘sferbism’ and by the end of the track, u-dude is fuming, kuqhuma abo: “I disregard your capitalist pussy, s’febe ungenzela amasimba.”
As for “Samson, uyi-timer elinjani elingagerezi… 1981 waqala utshwala Samson, wabhem’insangu, wakhahlel’i-Ol’lady…ujuthwa omama abangenangqondo…ufike Samson, us’rasele ngabo-Peter Tosh nama-Culture no Peter Tenet…nipheke sonke is’shebo seviki…ngiyak’khuza ung’bheka kabi ngamehlo abovu…Samson bheka…e-Sun City wangena kusanuka ipende…ubizana nenombolo elok’shini…Samson, izolo ngithol’i-belas ukuthi ufile… Lala kahle Samson namehlo abovu.” Sound like anyone you know?
Dear blog followers, get yourself the album – ‘I’M NOT GOING BACK TO THE TOWNSHIP’ and be blown away by the collection of life stories delivered in Makhafula Vilakazi’s dynamic voice. Order your copy by contacting Makhafula Vilakazi directly on Facebook and Twitter.
For your pleasure, the blog’s Makhafula Vilakazi playlist