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The revolution will eat its children

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Scatterlings of Africa, I call your name and Asimbonanga are some of the songs that come to mind when I hear the name Johnny Clegg also known as “The White Zulu” because of his admiration of the Zulu culture.

During the apartheid regime, Clegg teamed up with Zulu street musician Sipho Mchunu to form the first inter-racial South African band they called Juluka. The band’s music was a fusion of pop, rock and traditional zulu rhythms.

Annoyed by the explicitly political songs of Clegg and Juluka, the apartheid regime banned their music on radio but this never detered them for singing out on the injustices taking place then.

In the song, Asimbonanga, they called for the release of Nelson Mandela and paid tribute to three martyrs of the South African liberation struggle: Steve Biko, Victoria Mxenge, and Neil Aggett.

I’m glad to write that “The White Zulu” is back with his much awaited new album titled ‘One Life‘. In the album, Clegg continues to write thoughtful and political lyrics.

One of the new songs on the album is titled: The revolution will eat its children (Anthem for Uncle Bob).

Commenting on the song, Clegg writes: “Revolutions around the world have always resulted in some form of social engineering accompanied by the inability to factor in that inevitable dark aspect of human nature – the lust for power.”

Some of the lyrics for the song are:

He’s a leader, talks of freedom
He knows the power of the Big Idea
He’s a dealer, he’s a seeker
Of the power that comes from fear
He gave his life to the party machine
Holding on a secret dream
He knows better than anyone
Power comes from the barrel of a gun…
And he’s rising up against them now
And he’s rising up in country and town
Rising up against them now, rising up

The revolution has eaten its children
I see the river of dreams run dry
I’m so thankful I got to love you
You are the reason I survive

While the South African government continues with its “Quiet Diplomacy” on Zimbabwe, Clegg warns, “the revolution will eat its children” while people stand by and look.

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