Dear black child

'Dear black child' is a song by Khonzisizwe 'Khonzi' Somandi, a Grahamstown musician and 3rd year BSc student at Rhodes University; together with Lutho Zono who starts her first year (BA Law) next month.

Khonzi visited Grocott's Mail to explained why he needed Grahamstown residents to listen to their song.

He said, he always loved listening to music from a young age but the desire to learn how to play music i.e. an instrument of any kind grew when he started marimbas in Grade 7 at Graeme College. 

In Grade 10, he became more interested in playing the piano but could not get proper lessons, which made him even more determined to teach himself. 

From then, he never stopped playing piano and would play the instrumentals of popular songs in his free time.

"I discovered my potential for music when I wrote my first song, that was in my first year of university. 

When I had just finished writing it and adding instrumentals to it, it just felt right and perfect, I felt like it was something I was meant to do," said Khonzi.

"I'm into music because it gives me a sense of completeness, it feels like therapy where I can express myself and how I feel, not only through words but also through instrumentals. 

It takes me to such a different world, a world I feel complete", he continued.

Khonzi said the song 'Dear black child' deals with both racial oppression faced by the black child, as well as the classism that the black child faces, i.e. where the rich black child living in town is seen as being better and given more respect than the poor or average black child living in the township. 

The inspiration for writing this particular song did not grow overnight, but was fuelled by the injustices Khonzi faced, as well as those faced by friends and people close to him, while he was growing up.

"Indoctrinations and undermining of black people is very prevalent from being a young child up until adulthood and certain motives regarding the inferiority of black people are pushed not only at schools or other higher education institutions but also on television and particularly advertisements. These motives subconsciously infiltrate the mind of the young black child as they are events that they are constantly exposed to and over time learn to accept and end up seeing it as normal and as a result induce or make the black child or poor black children to see themselves or feel like they are inferior in this discriminatory society." 

Lutho Zono has also always been a music lover, dancing and singing along to old-school music from a young age. 

However, her passion for music was fully discovered in her senior primary school years where she found herself deeply involved in cultural activities, especially those to do with music.

Music was one of her high school subjects and since then she have been discovering different aspects of herself through different music. She love music because it simply allows her TO BE.

"This song aims to educate South Africa as a whole and raise social awareness to recognise these injustices so that as a country we can eradicate this discrimination,"  Lutho said, "and belittling of a particular race and live together accepting and appreciating each other’s differences and using them to educate each other rather than cause racial division and segregation." 

Listen to the song here:

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Lutho Zono and Khonzisizwe Somandi, Rhodes University students and Grahamstown musicians. Photo: Supplied
Lutho Zono and Khonzisizwe Somandi, Rhodes University students and Grahamstown musicians. Photo: Supplied