Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day: Poverty: "It's no longer a fair game. The referee is biased. The field itself is dry."

Today is Blog Action Day. An action designed to remind us all of the unjustness of a world in which poverty is permitted to exist. A world were exploitation reigns, hidden by the smoke and mirrors of greed and immorality. Being an Anthropologist, I leave it to the words of others to speak their pain, anger, and frustration. Faza Nelly, born as Nelson Buchard, (unfortunately, now deceased) of X Plastaz, can tell you far more effectively than I, how hunger, disenfranchisement, and injustice feel. Watch the video here.

The words he sings are translated here:

Nini dhambi kwa mwenye dhiki?

Translated from Swahili into English - original lyrics by Nelson Buchard for X Plastaz

What's the offense of the poor?
All my people
East Africa
Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya
Dar es Salaam, A town
Wherever you are
Kneel and pray to God
Is this politics, religion, tyranny, slavery, judgement day, Sodom and Gomorrah?
Hold on strong, take a look around each corner
Left, right, front, back, make sure you look everywhere
And if you persist, just listen and be patient, so that you won’t regret later on

This goes out to my people
The cripple, blind, albinos and the insane
Street children, beggars, the poor and those who are mentally sane
This is a thick rope
You should know that we are pulling it against those in power
Fat bellies and cheeks
It’s no longer a fair game
The referee is biased
The field itself is dry
Work is hard to find, payment is little
What’s left is to play the hard way
We’re tired of the upper class, capitalism and dictatorship
This is the time
This is the redemption
And I order that those who are down must get that wine
I tighten the strap of your opponents
I pour poison over them
So that they will scratch themselves without shame
First of all, a salute to those who passed away before us
Second, let’s pray to God
Our father, please give us our daily bread
Fill us with strength
So that we can succeed in the game
When we pass away, the day of judgement
Give us the chance to regret
Because we know that we act evil
We eat forbidden fruits
We use every possible method
Juju or crime...
So that we can get food & clothing
But that shouldn’t be a reason for other people to be robbed of their rights
To prevent us from fulfilling our destiny
To call us infidels and insult us
Because what’s the offense?

What’s the offense of the poor
What’s wrong, what is right
Everyone just wants his destiny
Riddle: stir up the match
You can’t look into the future

Why? Ask the question, if we would all be intellectuals and rich
Who would do the dirty and dangerous work like working in the mortuary
Everyone here in town came for a ‘business’
Everything and everywhere
And even a human skin is for sale
Others are fake witches and wizards
Conmen, illegal travellers
While others are gentle-mannered like the Born-again Christians
In the afternoon offices are buzzing
While the night is hard, prostitutes,
Sugar daddies, criminals, and other things to be covered up
There are those who died when fighting for their lives
Their memories have remained in the graveyard
And there’s those who lost the hope that they will ever win
You’d think they have taken their souls out of mortgage
When they stop you in the road
You have to give them your last remaining salary for this month


Really, in Tanzania it’s a matter of finding your way
You will regret when you find out that you don’t even have a pair of shorts
Your decision, just hold it like a goalkeeper
And those who you’d depend on until the end will let you drown
You’re not educated, don’t have any special talent
But strength, tongue, economy you have it, you sit on it
To gain and to loose, it’s all normal
Sometimes you sleep and dream and eat
You drink, you French kiss
And make love to a lovely girl
To your surprise you find that the place is empty
There’s nothing

(Chorus, Yamat singing a traditional Maasai song)

Copyright - Lyrics by X Plastaz – Rumba-Kali publishing

(Fellow Anthropology Profs: I use this video in class. Students enjoy it and seem to relate to it.)

1 comment:

Ori said...

This is great song and deep lyrics.
I'm on my blogwalk, reading postings for Blog Action Day'08 (I haven't made my 'official' post for today yet).
Great post.