Although the darkness casts shadows around us, I can sense the luminous delight that the music and dancing radiate on the floor.
We came to party, to listen to good music, to dance with that lady we admire from afar, to dance with that guy your friend likes. Yes, ladies, I know. But this is not about the doings on and off the dance floor.
Nelson Mandela once said: “Well uhh it is music and dancing that makes me at peace with the world… and at peace with myself.”
We all love music, most of us love to dance, but where’s the peace and joy that comes with these ancient arts?
To me, it seems music and dancing is the only way this country, this world can move forward peacefully.
And like John Lennon, I am dreaming.
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…
Imagine was released in 1971. And look how far we have come. It’s mournful.
Until. the philosophy. which hold one race superior. And another. Inferior. Is finally. And permanently. Discredited. And abandoned. Everywhere is war. Me say war.
These are lyrics from the Bob Marley and the Wailers track War, released in 1976. And still, we are at war.
Bachata, Cuban Salsa, and Kizomba have its roots entrenched in Dominican, Cuban and Angolan struggles. South Africa has a few unique dances but none that unites us. Our artists though, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela, Jonathan Butler, PJ Powers, Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba, we’ve heard their voices raging against the old regime, their sounds unite us.
But while South Africans live through this turbulent time I hope music and dancing will help ease the pains of change.
I hope that you will realise that dancing is more than a get-together; it’s a means to improve the lives of the young, the old, the overworked, the lonely and the anxious. We can share ideas of politics, but more importantly, ideas to grow this culture.
My dream is to one day take this art to my hometown, Kimberley, where alcohol and drug abuse is the foremost reasons for the deterioration of people, good men young women, of all colours. A friend of mine wants to take it to smaller cities and towns across the country.
They need a distraction that is not fleeting, they need a lifestyle that is not destructive, and they need this culture of music and dancing.
South Africa needs it badly, really badly. A dance culture, happy living, fun with few rules, but instead we are obsessed with JZ and the ANC and apartheid and racism and sexism and violence and xenophobia, AND it all leads to disagreements and violence.
There are battles all around us, around the world, and music and dancing can be the radiance we need not to only escape this fiery reality, but to create a nirvana.