THE COAL TRAIN – A personal reflection on the people of CPRsouth

Stimela sihamba ngamalahle, (The train that drives using coal)
Sivela eDalaku Bay (Coming from Delgoa Bay)
Sangilahla kwa-Guqa (It dropped me off Kwa-Guqa)
Bathi sizomba amalahle (They say we are here to mine for coal)
Sihleli njenge Zinja (We live like dogs)
Emigodini (Underground)
Sikhalel’ izihlobo zethu (We weep for our relatives)
Masibuyeleni ekhaya bo (Let’s go back home)
Sikhalel’ izingane zethu (We weep for our children)
Masibuyeleni ekhaya bo (Let’s go back home)

– Hugh Masekela, Stimela (Coal Train), 1994

If you had told me, five days ago, that I would be discussing Hugh Masekela with a man from Uganda, I would have given you the skeptical eyebrow and moved on. After all, I know nothing about jazz and nobody from Uganda.

Yet this is precisely what happened yesterday. People from twenty-five or so countries have descended on Maputo, Mozambique, for the CPRsouth conference. Some of them, including myself, are here to present policy papers. More of them are Young Scholars, hand-picked from across the world to be flown here and taught how to write and influence policy. And in this crowd is the Ugandan who will introduce me to Hugh Masekela.

His name is Mwesigwa Daniel.

Mwesigwa Daniel at CPRsouth in Maputo, Mozambique, September 2018.

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