Norman Lebrecht on shifting sound worlds
The song is Asimbonanga (We have not seen him), a cry of yearning for the imprisoned Mandela.
Just to set this straight: It is a song sung by the Soweto Gospel Choir, but the setting is a very posh supermarket in Parkview, an upmarket suburb of Johanesburg, South Africa.
This was one of the most touching (and musically pleasing) tributes to Nelson Mandela during the ten days of mourning for the former president. Although the clientele of the supermarket were largely white, while the Soweto Gospel Choir, posing as workers in the store were black, I think the event was extremely meaningful to all who were present. Within a week it had over a million “hits” on YouTube.
Author, novelist, broadcaster, cultural commentator.
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